What is a Supercell?

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What is a Supercell?

Postby Pete » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:05 pm

Yeah, a supercell is a thunderstorm that has a mesocyclone present within it's updaft. A supercell is different from a normal thunderstorm, it's an independent mesoscale weather system that can affect the weather as far as 30kms away or more. A supercell can last for hours, even days, compared to the average thunderstorm which lasts around 45 - 90 minutes. The structural differences between supercells and normal thunderstorms are easily distinguishable. Supercells have insanely strong updrafts, giving the clouds a rocky, hard boiling appearance and the anvil tends to have a knuckle shape.
Classic supercell structure.
Image
http://www.stormchaser.com/

Average thunderstorm structure.
Image

Supercells have rotating updrafts, visible as spiral bands around the storm giving them a "flying saucer" appearance.
Image

Strong thunderstorms can develop rotation under the right conditions e.g., good strong shear and the shifting of wind direction with height and high CAPE values, but that doesn't make them supercells.
Hope I cleared something up. :)

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby Rusted From the Rain » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:46 pm

Pete wrote:Yeah, a supercell is a thunderstorm that has a mesocyclone present within it's updaft. A supercell is different from a normal thunderstorm, it's an independent mesoscale weather system that can affect the weather as far as 30kms away or more. A supercell can last for hours, even days, compared to the average thunderstorm which lasts around 45 - 90 minutes. The structural differences between supercells and normal thunderstorms are easily distinguishable. Supercells have insanely strong updrafts, giving the clouds a rocky, hard boiling appearance and the anvil tends to have a knuckle shape.
Classic supercell structure.
Image

Average thunderstorm structure.
Image

Supercells have rotating updrafts, visible as spiral bands around the storm giving them a "flying saucer" appearance.
Image

Strong thunderstorms can develop rotation under the right conditions e.g., good strong shear and the shifting of wind direction with height and high CAPE values, but that doesn't make them supercells.
Hope I cleared something up. :)


And here is how to forecast them, definitely well worth a look for anyone interested ... Might come in handy next spring when the storms are at their best. Maybe sooner, who knows.
http://www.downunderchase.com/storminfo/stormguide/

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby floppy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:54 pm

when we was kids
we was too poor to have supercell thunderstorms
we used to have to watch ordinary storms
and spin ourselves around to get the same effect

you young kids don't know how lucky you is
you can never always sometimes tell
when you least expect the most

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby lykeeze » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:32 pm

lol don't even have the means of detecting a supercell anywhere near by.. even those new doppler radars about aus... are ancient Egypt style and are being pulled down all over the u.s been in operation since the 60's or something stupid like that.. phased array is tha way to go

- tapatalk supercellular -

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby lykeeze » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:32 pm

i have nothing to back up anything i just said then.. so info?

- tapatalk supercellular -

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby Fu Manchu » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:33 pm

floppy wrote:when we was kids
we was too poor to have supercell thunderstorms
we used to have to watch ordinary storms
and spin ourselves around to get the same effect

you young kids don't know how lucky you is

=))

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby Fu Manchu » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:39 pm

lykeeze wrote:i have nothing to back up anything i just said then.. so info?

- tapatalk supercellular -


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What is a SuperCell?

Postby Fu Manchu » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:43 pm

A few threads we have featuring supercells.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1226

Image
viewtopic.php?p=17006#p17006

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Re: What is a SuperCell?

Postby rothki » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:50 pm

Thanks Pete for posting this. good to learn some of the different types of storm clouds

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Re: Mega Mammatus March 2012 (Bunuru)

Postby jcantelo » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:25 pm

I am no meteorologist by any means so I would like someone to help me identify if the rotation seen on this system was evidence of a developing supercell? The rotation was incredible to witness. It certainly was a very impressive thunderstorm, so if any of my fellow weather nuts could maybe help me with this, it would be very much appreciated.

You will have to watch my chase video to view it though. Either on

YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8eRgAL_03M&feature=plcp&context=C415af6bVDvjVQa1PpcFPJzgeUgYo5yS70U_g3ULxc70iLNplr5fc%3D

or

Vimeo
http://vimeo.com/34459965

:)
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Re: What is a Supercell?

Postby lykeeze » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:00 pm


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