Stationary Fronts

Stationary fronts are a stalled boundary between two air masses. They show little or no movement. The polar front jet is running parallel to the front in the upper air, thus it provides little or no push.  Surface winds are also parallel to each other, but running in the opposite directions across the front itself. As in warm fronts, precipitation and stratiform clouds are found on the north side of the front.

Surface temperatures fall slowly ahead of the front and rise gently after passage. There is a significant temperature gradient on either side of the front. Following Petterssen’s Rule, this would be the ideal area for new cyclogenesis. As in warm fronts, dew points are relatively steady before passage and rise slowly after passage.  Visibility can vary widely, since there are many different influences on this front.  Fog, rain, and haze are not uncommon. Surface pressure ahead of the front will slowly fall, but become steady during passage. Pressures will rise slowly after passage. Surface winds blow parallel to the front, and veer abruptly across it.  These fronts can develop further, becoming cold fronts, warm fronts, or undergoing cyclogenesis.

Concept Mapping Toolkit
Insitute for Human and Machine Cognition
The University of West Florida