from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. an area of vertical atmospheric rotation in supercell thunderstorms, which signals the threat of a possible tornado.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

meso- +‎ cyclone


  • The horizontally rotating mass, called a mesocyclone, is the first clue to radar observers that a thunderstorm could produce a tornado.

    Storm Warning

  • With enough air shooting up and down, the pinwheel is knocked on its side, creating a huge rotating mass of clouds called a mesocyclone - the hallmark of a tornado-spawning supercell storm - from which a funnel cloud can shoot down.

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion

  • The rotating updraft of a supercell (called a mesocyclone when visible on radar helps the supercell to produce extreme severe weather events, such as giant hail (more than 2 inches in diameter, strong downbursts of 80 miles an hour or more, and strong to violent tornadoes.

    A Remarkable Photo From Tornado Country - The Lede Blog -

  • "mesocyclone," the core rotational structure of a thunderstorm, which can produce a tornado.

    The New Yorker

  • The rotating column a mesocyclone is drawn down to earth by moisture-laden air.


  • An F4 landspout hit Colorado a few years back, and landspouts are are caused by significantly different phenomena by definition, they have no mesocyclone.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Pathogens in Harm’s Way:

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    meganwaits Diary Entry

  • Some severe thunderstorms develop a strong vertical updraft, commonly known as a mesocyclone.


  • When a tornado occurs, the mesocyclone lengthens vertically, constricts, and spirals down to the ground surface.


  • This is a picture of a mesocyclone and wall cloud.

    A Remarkable Photo From Tornado Country - The Lede Blog -


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