Meteorology (Weather)/wind

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wind report
wind report  
QUESTION: Hi David,

My questions pertain to wind direction. I am a kiteboarder and we like side and side on wind. Attached report is for South East Florida and has been very common the past few years. The fronts come down and instead of turning side or side on they stay off or side offshore until the wind has started to decrease. This direction seems new over the past 3 years.

My question are, is this a new wind pattern and if yes why?
What causes the wind not to turn on shore or turn on shore later?
Any other information pertaining to this would be welcome.

Thank you Jordan

ANSWER: Hi Jordan, Basically, a front is a separation between two types of air masses. With a cold front, for example, you have colder air behind the front and warmer air ahead. When you have a cold front moving through, you'll usually have winds out of the southeast before the front passes and as the front passes, winds change to the west and northwest. Sometimes neither air mass moves  (could be for several reasons) and the front becomes stationary. I suspect this is what's going on, but I can't tell just by this. Hope this helps.

David

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi David,

So the length of time it maintains a direction is based solely on the speed of the moving front?

Is there something that determines the speed that the fronts move?

Jordan

Answer
For your first question, yes.

As for the second question, it's complicated if you want to be completely correct. Essentially, it depends on how fast one air mass can replace the other. If you have a cold air mass moving south and a warm air mass moving north, for example, the front doesn't move until one of them gives way to the other.

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David Moran

Expertise

I can answer questions about radar and large scale meteorology. If a question looks like homework, I won't answer it.

Experience

I have been a forecaster for many years with a specialty in severe weather.

Organizations
Full Member, American Meteorological Society

Education/Credentials
BS in Meteorology, University of Oklahoma BA in Mathematics, University of Oklahoma

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