Frontal Diagnosis Course

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Description

The Frontal Diagnosis course is intended to increase learners’ abilities to correctly identify different types of cold fronts and effectively diagnose their characteristics, both conceptually and  as observed from satellite data. These two short lessons compare and contrast three different types of fronts: Classic/Stacked fronts, Katabatic fronts, and Anabatic fronts. Throughout the lessons learners will analyze and categorize all three types of front, as well as dry conveyor belt pulses.   

Prerequisites Include:

  • Satellite Feature Identification: Inferring Three Dimensions from Water Vapour Imagery
  • Satellite Feature Identification: Conveyor Belts
  • Deformation Zone Analysis
  • Vorticity Maxima and Comma Patterns
  • Vorticity Minima and Anticomma Patterns

An optional follow-on lesson, Frontogenetical Circulations and Stability, will increase learners' understanding of the ageostrophic circulations of fronts from a mathematical perspective.

Because there are no quizzes for these lessons, there is no completion certificate for this course. This is simply a suggested learning path through lessons with related and complementary topics.

Goals and Objectives

  • Characterize the differences between stacked cold fronts and katabatic cold fronts.
    • Identify the main characteristics of stacked/classic cold fronts.
    • Identify the main characteristics of katabatic cold fronts.
  • Distinguish frontal type by observing satellite imagery.
  • Identify the main characteristics of anabatic cold fronts.
  • Characterize the differences between anabatic and katabatic cold fronts.
  • Distinguish frontal type by observing satellite imagery.
  • Identify dry conveyor belt pulses via satellite imagery.

Overview

This course is a 2-part series of short video lessons with interspersed exercises to encourage your active learning.  The following lessons are included in this series.

Frontal Diagnosis 1

In this lesson, we start by investigating the different types of fronts that are commonly analyzed. Next, we address two different types of cold fronts: classic (stacked), and katabatic. Then, we identify the main characteristics of these frontal types and what sets them apart from each other in conceptual models and in water vapour imagery.

Frontal Diagnosis 2

In this lesson, we address the characteristics of anabatic cold fronts, then move into analysis of those characteristics. In the analysis activity, you are asked to diagnose the different types of fronts that appear and identify the main characteristics of anabatic and katabatic fronts. The lesson concludes with identification and analysis of dry conveyor belt pulses.

Course Outline

Additional Resources

Course Outline