The Movement of Air Masses
transporting warm air northward and colder air southward

Counterclockwise winds associated with cyclones transport heat and moisture from lower to higher latitudes and play a significant role in the movement of air masses.

As a cyclone intensifies, (the central pressure drops), counterclockwise winds around the low pressure center also intensify, transporting the air masses around the center of circulation.

By superimposing fronts over the low pressure center and the air masses, a top view of a midlatitude cyclone and accompanying air masses might resemble something like the diagram below:

Southerly winds east of the low transport warm and moist air northward and this moisture often contributes to the development of precipitation. A warm front marks the leading edge of this warm, moist air mass. Behind the low, northerly winds transport colder and drier air southward, with a cold front marking the leading edge of this colder, drier air mass.

associated winds
Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

on satellite images