Do winter warm fronts behave differently than warm fronts in other seasons?

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Dear Tom,

In winter, we hear of temperatures remaining steady or slowly rising. Do winter warm fronts behave differently than warm fronts in other seasons?

Angel Rivera
Bloomington, Indiana

Dear Angel,

They often do. Winter warm fronts often bring dramatic temperature increases as arctic air retreats from the area. Overnight temperatures can rise from levels well below to near or above freezing. As the warm, moist air advances north over cold, snow-covered ground, the atmosphere’s lower levels are chilled to condensation and dense fog, accompanied by drizzle or freezing drizzle, frequently develops. In the warm season, warm fronts signal the arrival of high-dew point tropical air that often results in the development of heavy rain-producing thunderstorms when the advancing warm, moist air mass is lifted into colder levels of the upper atmosphere creating very unstable conditions.

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