ABC13 Weather U: The 3 types of cold fronts

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Not all cold fronts are created equal. Chief Meteorologist Travis Herzog explains that we classify fronts based on where the air originates.

The three main types of cold fronts are Pacific, Canadian, and Arctic.

Pacific cold fronts originate over the Pacific Ocean and approach us from the west. They usually bring us a large dose of dry air more so than cold air, which leads to cool mornings and mild afternoons. These fronts are common in the fall and spring.

Canadian cold fronts originate over Canada, but generally south of the Arctic circle. These are the cold fronts we get most frequently in the winter months and they are responsible for the majority of our light freezes. Occasionally they can bring us snow, but usually we just get rain.

Arctic cold fronts originate north of the Arctic circle, and they are responsible for the vast majority of our hard freezes. Sometimes they will also bring ice and snow, but oftentimes the air is too dry for wintry precipitation by the time the freezing temperatures reach us. Some winters we get no Arctic fronts. In rare cases the Artic air will come all the way from the frigid region of Siberia. This is what happened during the great winter storm of February 2021. These extreme Arctic fronts reach us on average about once every 30 years.

We never know for sure what kind of cold fronts will come ahead of any given winter, so it's important to stay tuned to our daily ABC13 weather forecasts so you can remain informed on what is coming our way.

Follow Travis Herzog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Fill out the form below if you would like to suggest a topic for our weather team to cover.
Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.