Cloud patterns near a cold front

The satelllite picture below shows two areas of cumulus clouds forming around a cold front moving across eastern South Dakota.  As the cold front moves across the region this morning, cumulus has begun to form ahead and behind the front.  The cumulus forming ahead of the front is the result of surface heating.  As temperatures have warmed into the mid 70s, cumulus formed this morning. However, because of very warm air above the surface, these cumulus clouds are not expected to produce thunderstorms this morning.

Behind the front, stratocumulus has formed.  This is the result of cold air above the surface moving into the area and allowing the cumulus to form.  However, as there remains very warm air a few thousand feet above the surface, thunderstorms are also not expected to form with these clouds.

Satellite picture of cumulus associated with cold front.

 



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