DISCUSSION: As is the case for many cold front passages, there are multiple ways by which operational and research meteorologists alike opt to identify and study the propagation of cold fronts through different parts of the United States. The reason for our increased ability to monitor the progression of cold fronts (especially across the contiguous United States), is due to the particularly high density of surface observations throughout the country. This fairly widespread and dense network of surface-based weather observations allows forecasters to better identify and make projections for where given frontal boundaries are and where they will be moving with time. In addition to surface-based observations, many forecasters will take advantage of regional dual-polarization radar sites to identify the passage and/or movement of frontal boundaries via weak reflectivity returns (as captured in the image above). To be more specific, the image above depicts the southeasterly movement associated with a cold front moving through the Carolinas as scattered storms continued moving parallel to the Gulf Stream. Thus, modern technology has many different benefits in regards to improving the efficiency of day-to-day operational forecasting.
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©2017 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz