It is useful to track the movement of fronts, with the help of front symbols on a weather map, because significant weather generally occurs along the edges of air masses as they move over the earth's surface.
Surface weather map analysis are issued every six hours by Environment Canada, as well as by most other G8 countries of the world. You can obtain the latest map here.
The most common front symbols you will see depicted on a surface weather map, are:
Symbol of an advancing cold frontal zone, at the earth's surface. The cold front is the leading edge of an advancing cold air mass.
Symbol of a retreating warm frontal zone, at the earth's surface. The warm front is the retreating edge of a cold air mass, letting warmer air invade the abandoned terrain.
By following the new position of fronts, every six hours, you can estimate the direction and speed of movement of the fronts.
Thus, it becomes possible for you to estimate the arrival - at your observing site - of the weather associated with a front moving toward you. This form of anticipating impending weather is sometimes called "now-casting"!
Weather front map symbols let you recognize, at a glance, the type of fronts that are, or will be, moving over your region.