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Analyzing Precipitation Animation
closely examining each stage of development

A Closer Examination of the Animation:
Initially, the cold air mass wedges into the warmer air mass ahead of it, (separated from each other by the cold front). The lighter warm air is lifted upwards by the denser cold air and if enough water vapor condenses, clouds develop.

[Image: clouds forming ahead of cold front (27K)]

If condensation of water vapor persists, precipitation may develop, typically in a narrow band just ahead of the cold front.

[Image: thunderstorms ahead of cold front (27K)]

Due to the steep slope of a cold front, vigorous rising motion is often produced, leading to the development of showers and occasionally severe thunderstorms.

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.