Mesoscale convective complex
From AMS Glossary
mesoscale convective complex
(Abbreviated MCC.) A subset of mesoscale convective systems (MCS) that exhibit a large, circular (as observed by satellite), long-lived, cold cloud shield.
The cold cloud shield must exhibit the following physical characteristics.
- Initiate: Size definitions A and B are first satisfied
- Duration: Size definitions A and B must be met for a period ≥ 6 h.
- Maximum extent: Contiguous cold cloud shield (IR temperature ≤ -33°C) reaches maximum size.
- Shape: Eccentricity (minor axis/major axis) ≥ 0.7 at time of maximum extent.
- Terminate: Size definitions A and B no longer satisfied.
Alternatively, a dynamical definition of an MCC requires that the system have a Rossby number of order 1 and exhibit a horizontal scale comparable to the Rossby radius of deformation. In midlatitude MCS environments, the Rossby radius of deformation is about 300 km.