Supercell

supercell thunderstormsupercell thunderstormsforward flank downdraftsupercellshigh-precipitationinflow notchsuper cells
A supercell is a thunderstorm characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft.wikipedia
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Thunderstorm

thunderstormssevere thunderstormelectrical storm
A supercell is a thunderstorm characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft.
Some of the most persistent severe thunderstorms, known as supercells, rotate as do cyclones.

Tornado

tornadoestornadicCyclone
Supercells are one of the few types of clouds that typically spawn tornadoes within the mesocyclone, although only 30% or fewer do so.
They are generally classified as non-supercellular tornadoes that develop over bodies of water, but there is disagreement over whether to classify them as true tornadoes.

Mesocyclone

tornadocyclonelow-level mesocyclonemesoanticyclone
A supercell is a thunderstorm characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft. Supercells are one of the few types of clouds that typically spawn tornadoes within the mesocyclone, although only 30% or fewer do so.
Mesocyclones often occur together with updrafts in supercells, within which tornadoes may form at the interchange with certain downdrafts.

Leslie R. Lemon

Lemon
Browning did the initial work that was followed up by Lemon and Doswell to develop the modern conceptual model of the supercell.
Lemon is, along with Charles A. Doswell III, a seminal contributor to the modern conception of the supercell which was first identified by Keith Browning, and he developed the Lemon technique to estimate updraft strength and thunderstorm organization (in highly sheared environments) also as a continuation of Browning's work.

Hail

hailstormhailstoneshailstone
They usually produce copious amounts of hail, torrential rainfall, strong winds, and substantial downbursts.
Hailstones can be very large or very small, depending on how strong the updraft is: weaker hailstorms produce smaller hailstones than stronger hailstorms (such as supercells).

Charles A. Doswell III

Chuck DoswellDoswellCharles A. Doswell
Browning did the initial work that was followed up by Lemon and Doswell to develop the modern conceptual model of the supercell.
Doswell is a seminal contributor, along with Leslie R. Lemon, to the modern conception of the supercell, which was developed originally by Keith Browning.

Hook echo

hook-like appendage
The rear flank downdraft, or RFD, carries precipitation counterclockwise around the north and northwest side of the updraft base, producing a "hook echo" that indicates the presence of a mesocyclone.
A hook echo is a pendant or hook-shaped weather radar signature as part of some supercell thunderstorms.

Rear flank downdraft

rear-flank downdraft
The rear flank downdraft, or RFD, carries precipitation counterclockwise around the north and northwest side of the updraft base, producing a "hook echo" that indicates the presence of a mesocyclone.
The rear flank downdraft or RFD is a region of dry air wrapping around the back of a mesocyclone in a supercell thunderstorm.

Tornado Alley

tornadotornado-heavy areaUnited States tornado alley
Supercells can occur anywhere in the world under the right pre-existing weather conditions, but they are most common in the Great Plains of the United States in an area known as Tornado Alley and in the Tornado Corridor of Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil. The areas with highest frequencies of supercells are similar to those with the most occurrences of tornadoes; see tornado climatology and Tornado Alley.
This creates an ideal environment for tornadoes to form within developed thunderstorms and super cells.

Cumulonimbus cloud

cumulonimbusthundercloudcumulonimbus clouds
A flanking line is a line of smaller cumulonimbi or cumulus that form in the warm rising air pulled in by the main updraft. High-based shear funnel clouds sometimes form midway between the base and the top of the storm, descending from the main Cb (cumulonimbus) cloud.
Cumulonimbus progress from overdeveloped cumulus congestus clouds and may further develop as part of a supercell.

Flanking line (meteorology)

flanking line
A flanking line is a line of smaller cumulonimbi or cumulus that form in the warm rising air pulled in by the main updraft.
These flanking lines generally occur in the vicinity of supercell thunderstorms or large multicell thunderstorms.

Lemon technique

Weak echo region
(See Lemon technique).
It is named for Leslie R. Lemon, the co-creator of the current conceptual model of a supercell.

Keith Browning

The first storm to be identified as the supercell type was the Wokingham storm over England, which was studied by Keith Browning and Frank Ludlam in 1962.
His work with Frank Ludlam on the supercell thunderstorm at Wokingham, UK in 1962 was the first detailed study of such a storm.

Storm chasing

storm chaserstorm chaserschasers
This is where observations by storm spotter and storm chasers may be of vital importance in addition to Doppler velocity (and polarimetric) radar data.
Not only are the most intense supercells common here, but due to the moisture profile of the atmosphere the storms tend to be more visible than locations farther east where there are also frequent severe thunderstorms.

Bounded weak echo region

BWERweak echo region
* Bounded weak echo region (or BWER)
The updraft strength within the BWER supports the growth of large hailstones just above the vault, which can be displaced slightly into the direction of motion of the parent supercell storm.

Landspout

landspout tornadomisocyclonelandspouts
Due to convergence and lifting along this line, landspouts sometimes occur on the outflow boundary of this region.
They generally are smaller and weaker than supercell tornadoes and do not form from a mesocyclone or pre-existing rotation in the cloud.

Funnel cloud

condensation funnelfunnel cloudsfunnel
High-based shear funnel clouds sometimes form midway between the base and the top of the storm, descending from the main Cb (cumulonimbus) cloud.
Funnel clouds form most frequently in association with supercell thunderstorms.

Wall cloud

Murusrotating wall cloudrotation in the clouds
The wall cloud forms near the downdraft/updraft interface.
When present in a supercell thunderstorm these shelf clouds on the leading edge of a storm are associated with the forward flank downdraft (FFD).

Vertical draft

updraftdowndraftdowndrafts
A supercell is a thunderstorm characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, persistently rotating updraft.
Rear flank downdraft and forward flank downdraft

1999 Sydney hailstorm

1999 hailstorma severe stormhailstorm in Sydney
On April 14, 1999, a severe storm later classified as a supercell hit the east coast of New South Wales.
The storm was classified as a supercell following further analysis of its erratic nature and extreme attributes.

Tornado climatology

tornado seasonclimatologyseason
The areas with highest frequencies of supercells are similar to those with the most occurrences of tornadoes; see tornado climatology and Tornado Alley.
Not every thunderstorm, supercell, squall line, or tropical cyclone will produce a tornado.

Barber's pole

barber poleBarber Polesbarber-pole
This type of supercell may be easily identifiable with "sculpted" cloud striations in the updraft base or even a "corkscrewed" or "barber pole" appearance on the updraft, and sometimes an almost "anorexic" look compared to classic supercells.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, barber pole is a slang term used by weather and storm spotters to describe "a thunderstorm updraft with a visual appearance including cloud striations that are curved in a manner similar to the stripes of a barber pole. The structure typically is most pronounced on the leading edge of the updraft, while drier air from the rear flank downdraft often erodes the clouds on the trailing side of the updraft." See Supercell. Supercell/barber's pole photograph.

Vorticity

vortex dynamicsvortex lineVORTEX LINES
Supercells derive their rotation through tilting of horizontal vorticity (an invisible horizontal vortex) caused by wind shear.
Helicity of the air motion is important in forecasting supercells and the potential for tornadic activity.

2014 Brisbane hailstorm

Brisbane hailstormNovember 27, 2014storm
On November 27, 2014 a supercell hit the inner city suburbs including the CBD of Brisbane.
Multiple cells formed near the New South Wales border and tracked northwards, with one storm intensifying into a strong supercell.

Tornado watch

watchestornadotornado threat areas
Tornado watches and warnings are frequently necessary in the spring and summer.
A tornado watch (SAME code: TOA) is issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms called a supercell that are capable of producing tornadoes.