Why do we have so many cold front this time of year?

Mobile County

Mobile, Ala (WKRG) – Living on the Gulf Coast is never boring weather-wise. We have hurricanes, tornadoes, record high temperatures, record low temperatures, freeze warnings, heat warnings, cold fronts, severe weather and so much more. This time of year especially, it seems like our temperatures are on a roller coaster and are constantly changing from above-average to below-average. This is partly due to the lower sun angle that comes with changing seasons, but also has to do with our more frequent cold fronts during this time of year.

News 5’s Caroline Carithers spoke with National Weather Service forecaster Jason Beaman to explain why we have so many cold fronts in the fall and why our severe weather occurs during the cold season.

Beaman explains, “A lot of it has to do with the season. As we go into fall and winter we are losing the sun angle which allows the higher latitudes to cool more quickly while the equator remains fairly constant in its temperature.” This temperature difference creates and drives more frequent cold fronts to our area.

It also aids in the development of what we call the jet stream (a band of strong wind), which helps severe weather initiate. This coupled with more wind shear (change in speed or direction of wind with height) that occurs with a larger temperature gradient, and the moisture and instability from the Gulf of Mexico provides all of the necessary ingredients for severe storms to form.

Since this all happens during the fall, we get more frequent and stronger cold fronts with associated severe weather during this time. Check out the video for more details!


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