MesoscaleSize scale referring to weather systems smaller than synoptic-scale systems but larger than
storm-scale systems. Horizontal dimensions generally range from around 50 miles to several hundred miles.
Squall lines, MCCs, and MCSs are examples of mesoscale weather systemsMesoscale Convective Complex(abbrev. MCC)- MCC - Mesoscale Convective Complex. A large Mesoscale Convective System (MCS), generally round or oval-shaped, which normally reaches peak intensity at night. The formal definition includes specific minimum criteria for size, duration, and eccentricity (i.e., "roundness"), based on the cloud shield as seen on infrared satellite photographs:
* Size: Area of cloud top -32 degrees C or less: 100,000 square kilometers or more (slightly smaller than the state of Ohio), and area of cloud top -52 degrees C or less: 50,000 square kilometers or more.
* Duration: Size criteria must be met for at least 6 hours.
* Eccentricity: Minor/major axis at least 0.7.
MCCs typically form during the afternoon and evening in the form of several isolated thunderstorms, during which time the potential for severe weather is greatest. During peak intensity, the primary threat shifts toward heavy rain and flooding.Mesoscale Convective System(MCS): A complex of thunderstorms which becomes organized on
a scale larger than the individual thunderstorms, and normally persists for several hours or more.
MCSs may be round or linear in shape, and include systems such as tropical cyclones, squall
lines, and MCCs (among others). MCS often is used to describe a cluster of thunderstorms that
does not satisfy the size, shape, or duration criteria of an MCC. Mesoscale DiscussionWhen conditions actually begin to shape up for severe weather, SPC (Storm Prediction Center) often issues a Mesoscale Discussion (MCD) statement anywhere from roughly half an hour to several hours before issuing a weather watch. SPC also puts out MCDs for hazardous winter weather events on the mesoscale, such as locally heavy snow, blizzards and freezing rain (see below). MCDs are also issued on occasion for heavy rainfall, convective trends, and other phenomena, when the forecaster feels he/she can provide useful information that is not readily available or apparent to field forecasters. MCDs are based on mesoscale analysis and interpretation of observations and of short term, high resolution numerical model output.
The MCD basically describes what is currently happening, what is expected in the next few hours, the meteorological reasoning for the forecast, and when/where SPC plans to issue the watch (if dealing with severe thunderstorm potential). Severe thunderstorm MCDs can help you get a little extra lead time on the weather and allow you to begin gearing up operations before a watch is issued. The MCD begins with a numerical string that gives the LAT/LON coordinates of a polygon that loosely describes the area being discussed.Mesoscale High WindsThese high winds usually follow the passage of organized convective systems and are associated with wake depressions or strong mesohighs.North American Mesoscale Forecast System (NAM)One of the major weather models run by the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) for producing weather forecasts.
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