A front is a boundary or transition zone between two air masses. Fronts are classified by which type of air mass is replacing the other. There are four types of fronts: (1) Cold fronts, (2) Warm fronts, (3) Stationary fronts, and (4) Occluded fronts. Fronts are usually detectable at the surface by a significant change in air temperature, atmospheric pressure, or wind speed and direction. It is imperative that a pilot have a solid understanding of the the typical weather associated with each type of front as well as their locations with respect to the intended flight plan.


Type Description
Cold Front Cold air mass overtakes and lifts a warm air mass
Warm Front Warm air mass overtakes and rides over a cold air mass
Stationary Front Forces of the two air masses are relatively equal
Occluded Front Cold front catches up to a slow-moving warm front


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