Mesoscale cellular convection

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mesoscale cellular convection

(Sometimes abbreviated MCC.) A regular pattern of convective cells that can develop in an atmospheric boundary layer heated from below or radiatively cooled from cloud top.

This phenomenon is readily observed in satellite imagery during cold air outbreaks when continental air passes over the relatively warm coastal ocean. Cloud lines, marking horizontal roll vortices, form initially in the developing marine atmospheric boundary layer. These lines evolve into open cells, which are defined by clouds in the upward motion along the edges of honeycomb- shaped cells, with less cloudy subsiding air in their centers. The convective structure further evolves into closed cells, which have cloudy centers and cloud-free edges.

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