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Analyzing Precipitation Animation
closely examining each stage of development
A Closer Examination of the Animation:
[Image: air riding up and over the frontal surface (27K)]
Initially, a warm air mass (in yellow) nudges against a colder air mass
(in blue) ahead of it, (separated from each other by the warm front).
The lighter warm moist air
behind the front is lifted upward and "overrides" the
As the air rises, it cools, and if enough water vapor
widespread clouds and precipitation develop.
[Image: overrunning precipitation ahead of the surface front (23K)]
A layer of thin clouds is
occasionally observed more than a thousand kilometers in advance of a
surface warm front.
As the front gets closer, the clouds thicken and
eventually light precipitation
begins to fall. Because the frontal surface gently slopes up and over the
cold air mass ahead of it, the upward motions associated with warm fronts
are typically not
as strong as the vigorous upward motions that occur ahead of a