Fronts & Air Masses

Shevena Edwards & Imani Rowell

What is an air mass ?

An air mass is an extremely large body of air whose properties of temperature and moisture content (humidity), at any given altitude, are fairly similar in any horizontal direction. Air masses can cover large (hundreds of miles) areas. Air masses can control the weather for a relatively long time period: from a period of days, to months.

What are the types of air masses and what are their characteristics ?

There are 4 general air mass classifications categorized according to the source region: polar, tropical, continental and marine.Polar latitudes (P) - located poleward of 60 degrees north and south. This is cold.Tropical latitudes (T) - located within about 25 degrees of the equator. This is cool.Marine (m) - located over the oceans. This humid.Continental (c) - located over large land masses, dry. This is dry. Air masses can be combined. Example : Marine Tropical(mT) which is located over the oceans and is cold & cool. Continental Tropical(cT) which is dry & cool the same time. Marine Polar(mP) which is very cold. Continential Polar(cP) which is cold but cool.

What is a front?

Most weather occurs along the periphery of these air masses at boundaries called fronts.  A front is a boundary between two different air masses, resulting in stormy weather. A front usually is a line of separation between warm and cold air masses

What are the 4 types of fronts ?

Cold Front ,Stationary Front ,Warm Front ,Occuled FrontFronts are boundaries between air masses of different temperatures. Fronts are actually zones of transition, but sometimes the transition zone, called a frontal zone, can be quite sharp.

What are the symbols for the 4 types of fronts ?

 The type of front depends on both the direction in which the air mass is moving and the characteristics of the air mass.


We can then make combinations of the above to describe various types of air masses.  cP continental polar cold, dry, stable  cT continental tropical hot, dry, stable air aloft, unstable surface air  mP maritime polar cool, moist, and unstable mT maritime tropical warm, moist, usually unstable


"Weather Wiz Kids Weather Information for Kids." Weather Wiz Kids Weather Information for Kids. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013."Weather Fronts." Weather Fronts. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2013