A cold front occurs when a mass of comparatively colder air moves into where warmer air is present. The drier, colder air forms a steeply sloping boundary under the warmer, moister air at the surface and lifts that air. This often causes cloud formations with strong vertical development, which may manifest as a line of showers and thunderstorms when enough moisture is present. On weather maps, the surface position of the cold front is marked with the symbol of a blue line of triangles/spikes (pips) pointing in the direction of travel. A cold front's location is at the leading edge of the temperature drop off, which in an isotherm analysis would show up as the leading edge of the isotherm gradient, and it normally lies within a sharp surface trough. Cold fronts move faster than warm fronts and can produce sharper changes in weather. Since cold air is denser than warm air, it rapidly replaces the warm air preceding the boundary.
In the northern hemisphere, a cold front usually causes a shift of wind from southwest to northwest clockwise, also known as veering, and in the southern hemisphere a shift from northwest to southwest (counterclockwise, backing). Atmospheric pressure steadily decreases with the approach of a cold front; with frontal passage, the pressure rises sharply and then stabilizes.