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Weather Works: How do cold fronts form?

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson explains the science behind cold fronts on this episode of "Weather Works."

MACON, Ga. — To get a full understanding of how cold fronts form, we have to define what a front is first. 

A front is a boundary that separates two different air masses. For cold fronts, one air mass is cool and dry. The other is warm and moist. 

When a low pressure system is present, its counterclockwise motion draws cooler air from the north toward the south. The cool air then begins to wrap around the center of low pressure.

On the other side of a low pressure system, there is warm, moist air. A cold front forms when the cooler, drier air pushes the warm air and forces the warm air up into the atmosphere. This is because the warm air is less dense than the cool air.

As the warm, moist air rises, it cools and condenses, forming the signature lines of clouds and storms.

Once the cold front moves through an area, the cooler, drier weather settles in and leaves behind lower temperatures and clear skies.

Using meteorology and physics, that's how your weather works!

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