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Cold fronts usher in cooler, usually drier weather. But the weather that occurs when a cold front passes by can be wet and wild or dry and mild.
While all cold fronts mean a drop in temperatures is coming, the amount of rough weather — or lack thereof — often has to do with how the cold front and the warm weather near the cold front mix together.
A rainy cold front is usually an anafront. Anafronts are the kind of cold front associated with moisture and clouds.
Ana means to ascend. What’s ascending in the case of an anafront? The warm and moist air — it actually rises over the lower leading edge of the cold front and can create clouds and rain behind the actual cold front itself.
A relatively dry cold front is called a katafront.
Kata, which means to descend, refers to a cold front where the nearby warm air is generally sinking ahead of the cold front, at least in the upper altitudes. Because the warm and moist air can’t rise high enough to stir up much — if any — significant weather, storms have a very difficult time forming near a katafront.
I'm a weather geek from Florida who's been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years! I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about the weather. I especially like sharing interesting details about weather events and conditions that can affect you… and how to prepare for Mother Nature's ever-changing weather patterns.