Mesocyclone

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mesocyclone

A cyclonically rotating vortex, around 2–10 km in diameter, in a convective storm.

The vorticity associated with a mesocyclone is often on the order of 10-2 s-1 or greater. (It should be noted that a mesocyclone is not just any cyclone on the mesoscale; it refers specifically to cyclones within convective storms.) Mesocyclones are frequently found in conjunction with updrafts in supercells. Tornadoes sometimes form in mesocyclones. Persistent mesocyclones that have significant vertical extent are detected by Doppler radar as mesocyclone signatures. Tornado warnings may be issued when a mesocyclone signature is detected.

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