Why severe weather is possible in the “warm sector” of a cold front


MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG)- Today we are weather aware as a warm front is lifting northward through our area. Throughout the afternoon there is a low possibility for severe weather as we are located in the “warm sector” of a cold front.

What is the warm sector and why is it conductive for thunderstorms? As the warm front lifted through our area it sloped over a mass of cool air and created lifting in our environment. Since cool air is more dense than warm air the warm air lifted above and pushed the cool air northward. Frontal lifting is when less dense warm air is forced to rise over cooler, denser air as a weather front moves inward.

When the warm air rises the sloping motion helps amplify the formation of clouds and thunderstorms. Typically when a warm front moves northward a cold front will pass in the next 24 hours from our west. Those 24 hours we will be weather aware as our environment is favorable for severe weather.

The warm air left behind the warm front is drastically warmer and more saturated. It felt noticeably more humid this afternoon compared to this morning. There was a drastic increase in temperature change and you can visually see the warm front on the temperature map. The warm front marks the 10 degree change that occurred in just an hour of passing.


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