Single-Cell Storms

Multicell Storms

Mesoscale Convective Complexes
Criterion Physical Characteristics
Size A: Cloud shield with continuously low IR temperature -32°C must have an area 100,000 km2.
B: Interior cold cloud reqion with temperature of -52°C must have an area 50,000 km2.
Duration Size definitions A and B must be met for a period of 6 hours.
Maximum Extent Contiguous cold-cloud shield (IR temperature -32°C) reaches maximum size.
Shape Eccentricity (minor axis/major axis) 0.7 at time of maximum extent.

Definition of MCC based on analyses of enhanced IR satellite imagery (from Maddox, 1980)
* Initiation occurs when size definitions A and B are first satisfied.
Termination occurs when size definitions A and B are no longer satisfied.

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