Watch: Cold front passage captured on web camera

Wind shifts to northwest behind front's passage. (Photo:

HANSVILLE, Wash. -- Meteorologists frequently talk about cold fronts on the weather map, but Tuesday we could watch one come through ou tthe window in real time.

The cameras at captured a classic frontal passage Tuesday morning and it makes for a great illustration.

First, a little primer on how cold fronts work around here. As they approach, they are preceded by a southeast wind -- sometimes a rather strong southeast wind as was the case Tuesday morning. Southeast gusts on Whidbey Island hit 47 mph while Everett's Paine Field reached 41 mph. (The Seattle area misses out on these strong southeast winds because the Olympics act as a barrier.)

At SkunkBayWeather HQ on Whidbey Island, the southeast gusts were blowing around 31 mph:

About an hour later, as the front came overhead, the winds went calm as the rain approached:

Then just 15 minutes later, the front is through (pretty narrow front today), the winds have shifted 180 degrees to the northwest gusting to 20 mph, and here comes the rain:

Here is the full video of the frontal passage:

Panoramic view of the front's passage:

One thing you might also have noted was that perhaps the word cold in cold front should be in quotes. While in the Midwest, cold fronts can be marked by a several degree drop in temperature, here cold fronts frequently don't have much of a temperature change. If you notice in this particular case, the temperature hardly budged during the front's passage.