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Mesocyclone

Region of rotation within a powerful thunderstorm / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A mesocyclone is a meso-gamma mesoscale (or storm scale) region of rotation (vortex), typically around 2 to 6 mi (3.2 to 9.7 km) in diameter, most often noticed on radar within thunderstorms. In the northern hemisphere it is usually located in the right rear flank (back edge with respect to direction of movement) of a supercell, or often on the eastern, or leading, flank of a high-precipitation variety of supercell. The area overlaid by a mesocyclone’s circulation may be several miles (km) wide, but substantially larger than any tornado that may develop within it, and it is within mesocyclones that intense tornadoes form.[1]

Supercell_side_view.jpg
Supercell diagram with the mesocyclone rotation in red.

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