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We can detect a certain period of clear weather behind the clearing cloud of the front almost all the way along its length and this is what we most often find. For example it has been bad weather for some time but then the forecast indicates that a cold front will clear the air. As that front passes there will be a definite edge of cirrus clouds and then the sun will come out. Make the most of it because what normally follows is a build-up of heap clouds which often become big enough to produce showers.

In the medium deck we have altocumulus (Ac) and altostratus (As). There are also important forms of these two basic types connected mainly with thunder which we will need to recognise. In the high deck we have a very important cloud, cirrus (Ci), another important cloud, cirrostratus (Cs) and a not very important cloud cirrocumulus (Cc). If these were the only clouds we would get very little rain because only deep clouds rain at all heavily. e. anything that falls from clouds) span all the three height decks.

However the wave can be seen as a bulge where the cold front has become kinked into a wave-like form. The cloud there is only altostratus (As) at present but could well become nimbostratus very soon. There is another wave up towards Iceland and something you quote often see on weather maps – a double frontal system. We can explain multiple fronts by remembering that the air behind the front gives its name to the front. So the air behind the left-hand cold front is colder than that trapped between the two cold fronts depicted.

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