Mesoscale Convective Complexes Over the United States During 1981— Annual Summary

R. A. Maddox NOAA, Environmental Research Laboratories, Office of Weather Research and Modification, Boulder, CO 80303

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D. M. Rodgers NOAA, Environmental Research Laboratories, Office of Weather Research and Modification, Boulder, CO 80303

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K. W. Howard NOAA, Environmental Research Laboratories, Office of Weather Research and Modification, Boulder, CO 80303

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Abstract

Satellite images are used to document the life cycles of Mesoscale Convective Complexes (MCCs) which occurred over the United States during the warm season months of 1981. These systems were found to exhibit characteristics similar to aspects of MCCs discussed recently in the literature; however, the behavior of several of the convective systems poses questions that can only be answered through detailed studies. The systems did produce a variety of significant weather events ranging from severe thunderstorms to locally heavy rains and flooding. Information is also provided for a number of other significant mesoscale convective systems that, although they did not meet the stringent MCC definition criteria, caught the investigators' attention. This documentation should provide a useful starting point for scientists who might wish to pursue studies of mesoscale convective weather systems.

Abstract

Satellite images are used to document the life cycles of Mesoscale Convective Complexes (MCCs) which occurred over the United States during the warm season months of 1981. These systems were found to exhibit characteristics similar to aspects of MCCs discussed recently in the literature; however, the behavior of several of the convective systems poses questions that can only be answered through detailed studies. The systems did produce a variety of significant weather events ranging from severe thunderstorms to locally heavy rains and flooding. Information is also provided for a number of other significant mesoscale convective systems that, although they did not meet the stringent MCC definition criteria, caught the investigators' attention. This documentation should provide a useful starting point for scientists who might wish to pursue studies of mesoscale convective weather systems.

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