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Features March 2017 Issue

Fronts

See text for a full description of the life cycle of a front from stationary to occlusion.

Fronts

Youíve seen them on the charts. You know they mean business, but perhaps youíre not entirely sure how to read them. Itís time to get intimate with them.

Fronts in TAFs and weather briefings often mean a day of delays and canceled plans. Considering the impact that they have on flight operations, we should understand fronts. Letís study them so you can make a good guess about the resulting weather. Our modern knowledge of fronts began around 1910 in the Bergen School of Meteorology in Norway. Their early work laid out the mathematics of forecasting and described fronts, showing that they are defined by a change in air mass density. Changes in wind speed, humidity, or pressure are all secondary.

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