Outflow Boundary/Gust Front

Weather Headlines

ALTOONA, PA (WTAJ)- Monday morning started out mostly sunny and dry but that quickly changed for some of us. Around 11:00 a.m. Monday morning the counties east of I-99 saw showers and even a few thunderstorms popped up very quickly. The showers and thunderstorms seemed to pop within minutes. Showers and thunderstorms popping up quickly is not a rare weather phenomenon but they usually happen during the summer months when there is rapid daytime heating, not in April. So what caused these showers and thunderstorms to pop up?

The showers and thunderstorms that formed over Central Pa had help from thunderstorms in Maryland and Delaware. How is this possible? Well, the heavy rain from the thunderstorms drags down cool air from the clouds. Once the rain and air hit the surface it spreads out in all directions. These winds are also known as gust fronts and can travel very fast and over a very long distance.

The gust front can cause showers and thunderstorms to form. The cool dense air acts like a plow and forces warmer and more buoyant air to quickly rise into clouds, showers, and even thunderstorms. The gust front is acting as a lifting mechanism which is one of the ingredients need to form showers and thunderstorms. This is what we saw this morning. An outflow boundary or gust front moved through the eastern part of PA and helped the showers and thunderstorms to form.

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