by WeatherFlow meteorologist Shea Gibson

How do we know where cold fronts are actually located?

Sometimes using radar scans and satellite imagery┬ácan be confusing and “cloud” the issue (below pic using the GRE radar with Water Vapor)

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But other times, it’s as easy as using our own weather station mesonet (which also provides air temps/pressures for changes) and others to see what the surface winds are doing to literally draw a line. Here’s a tricky serpentine-like and nearly stationary boundary sitting along and just off of the Carolina coast this morning. High pressure to the north is slowly working a moderate NE/ENE flow down the coast as it undercuts the front and “wedges” it to the south.
Our stations are the yellow and green arrows in these two pictures.

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UPDATE: At ~7:45am, the boundary popped loose from Myrtle Beach and looks to unzip from the coast as that NE wedge works down. Looks like Winyah Bay is holding on for a bit just to the south of Georgetown,SC. One thing to notice is that a fairly strong gradient to the north is showing 24 g31kts at Ocracoke, NC.

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UPDATE 8:45am: Front pops loose from the Georgetown/Winyah Bay areas. Next piece to unzip will be Charleston, SC.
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UPDATE 9:45-10:00am the front has exited the Charleston area and Northerly winds are building down. That pretty much does it for this front today.
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You can access our private mesonet via:
www.windalert.com
wx.ikitesurf.com
wx.iwindsurf.com
www.sailflow.com
www.fishweather.com

Cheers!

Shea Gibson
WeatherFlow Meteorologist
Outreach/New Weather Station Projects
Twitter: @WeatherFlowCHAS