DISCUSSION: Predominantly during the Winter-time/Spring-time months, meteorologists (i.e., working in operations and/or research) often look to anticipate both regional and larger-scale weather changes via monitoring the progress of frontal boundary types including (but certainly not limited to) warm fronts and cold fronts. Such frontal boundary types are key factors to monitor when it comes to trying to accurately predict either short-term or longer-term weather changes during the course of a given day since frontal boundaries are often the “dividing line” between various air masses or at least a change in wind direction and/or wind speed which often will gradually bring changing conditions with new air stream flow orientation.
In addition, many of these frontal boundary approaches can now be physically monitored in a three-dimensional context because of the onset of the dual polarization radar technology that was installed at all radar locations across the contiguous United States between 2012 and 2013 for the most part in the majority of cases. More specifically, as a relatively strong cold front is approaching a given radar location, the frontal boundary itself can often be identified as a linear weak precipitation echo approaching but is in fact the leading edge of the relatively warmer air mass being lifted along the longer axis of the approaching cold front. Hence, in the cases of the brief animated radar imagery attached above, you can clearly see such an example of this process occurring with a cold front which was approaching the Lincoln, Illinois radar site during the late-night hours of 5 June 2018.
As you can see very clearly in the loop, there is clear cold front dropping southwestward with time during this brief radar imagery loop. It is worth noting that in this case, there was also a notable temperature change tied to this relatively quick frontal passage which is less and less common during the Summer-time months since regional temperature fields often tend to be more similar within shorter distances. Thus, it just goes to show that cold front passage impacts are not remotely limited to the Winter-time months by any means at all.
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