Mesoscale Convective Systems

Supercell thunderstorm in Wyoming

c = k (g H T' / T)1/2

Mesoscale Convective Systems are groups of thunderstorms organized by the underlying terrain, synoptic-scale weather systems, or their interaction with each other. Scales range from half a dozen thunderstorm cells in a line less than 50 km long to scores of cells along synoptic-scale fronts or in some tropical super-clusters. Strong updrafts and downdrafts on both the mesoscale and within individual thunderstorm cells lead to heavy rain, high winds, lightning, and other forms of severe weather. The impact of mesoscale convective systems on river-flow, ocean temperature, global climate, and aviation are also of interest. Some of the most challenging problems today involve the interactions between mesoscale convective systems and the gravity waves and gravity currents they spawn.

Field Experiments | Selected Publications

Field Experiments

Year Project Location Platform
1992-1993 TOGA COARE IOP Topical Western Pacific Research Vessel Moana Wave
1990 TOGA Pilot Cruise Topical Western Pacific

Research Vessel Wecoma

1987 EMEX Darwin, Australia NCAR Electra aircraft

Selected Publications