You've heard about warm fronts and cold fronts, but what in the world are ana fronts and kata fronts?
To start, one should know that the front currently stretching from the Great Lakes to Texas is an ana front. This is the same front which is producing beneficial rains over the southern Plains.
An ana front is a frontal boundary in which the main shield of clouds and precipitation is located behind the actual frontal boundary.
This is because cold air located behind the front moves rapidly, pushing against the warm air out ahead of the front. Because cold air is more dense than warm air, the surging cold air causes the warm air to lift upward along the front.
Therefore, clouds and precipitation that form end up inclined rearward with height due to the advancing cold air at the surface.
That causes the main zone of cloudiness and precipitation to develop behind the actual frontal boundary.
For a current example, you can see that the cold front over the southern Plains is located over central Texas but a lot of the steadier rains are over northern Texas and Oklahoma, while more scattered thunderstorms lie to the south of the front. This is a great example of an ana front.
There is also a kata front, which is basically the opposite of the ana front.
In this case, an intrusion of dry air moving in behind the front ends up restricting the upward flow of warm air. Due to the dry air aloft, you end up with lower cloud tops; therefore, the clouds and precipitation slant forward with height.
This leads to the main zone of cloudiness and precipitation developing in front of the surface frontal boundary.
For more information and analysis, click on the WeatherWhys video below.
A significant wind event is ongoing across Ireland and the United Kingdom and will spread over northern Europe through Friday.
An ice storm, which could be the worst to hit the United States in years, is unfolding across portions of the southern Plains late this week.
Despite the mild air through midweek, the city is experiencing a drastic temperature drop to end the week.
The city will see snow a few times in the coming days as temperatures plummet.
After the midweek system accompanied with snow exits the area, frigid air will pour into the area.
While balmy air and rain will affect State College and central Pennsylvania into Thursday night, a return of colder air will be accompanied by a change to snow and slippery travel late Friday.
Chardon, OH (1962)
Denver, CO (1913)
Snow cover reaches 32.6", maximum depth of snow.
Little Port Walter, AR (1964)
14.84" rainfall in 24 hours. Greatest 24 hour rainfall event in state's history.