Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A severe, usually isolated thunderstorm characterized by a strong rotating updraft and often giving rise to damaging winds, electrical storms, flooding, large hail, and tornadoes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A severe thunderstorm with updrafts and downdrafts that are in near balance, allowing the storm to maintain itself for several hours. Supercells often produce large hail, powerful downpours, very strong winds and sometimes tornadoes.
  • noun mineralogy A repeating unit cell of a crystal that contains several primitive cells.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

super- +‎ cell

Examples

  • CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: And that can be the big dog and the big dog starts to spin and that's what we call a supercell, and we're worried about those for tomorrow.

    CNN Transcript Apr 23, 2007

  • Link wow is all i have to say– this is a very impressive photo and it looks to me a like it is a wet microburst i really want to know out of all these comments how many of you are trained spotters or part of skywarn i used to be a skywarn spotter- bye definition alone-The supercell is a highly organized thunderstorm.

    A Remarkable Photo From Tornado Country - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  • By definition, a supercell is a thunderstorm with a persistant rotating updraft.

    A Remarkable Photo From Tornado Country - The Lede Blog - NYTimes.com

  • Meteorologists still can't definitively say there will be a tornado, even when staring down a serious, twister-producing thunderstorm called a "supercell."

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Near Joplin yesterday, the conditions also included a type of thunderstorm called a supercell, which has a powerful, rotating updraft.

    NPR Topics: News

  • The (amazing) YouTube video clip of a close encounter with nature's wildest wind is here to see YouTube footage of the "supercell" T-storm that went on to drop a tornado on the

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • hinting at a "supercell" intense enough to spin up a tornado.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • hinting at a "supercell" intense enough to spin up a tornado.

    StarTribune.com rss feed

  • "It wasn't the classic kind of supercell you get in Tornado Alley," he said, "but I saw a video, and it looked like there was a lot of rain and kind of an outflow gust front.

    The New Yorker

  • "It wasn't the classic kind of supercell you get in Tornado Alley," he said, "but I saw a video, and it looked like there was a lot of rain and kind of an outflow gust front.

    The New Yorker

Comments

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  • Oddee: 'Supercell is the name given to a continuously rotating updraft deep within a severe thunderstorm (a mesocyclone) and looks downright scary.'

    April 30, 2009