Weather Forecasting ... On-Line

Mesoscale Terminology


Introductory Comments

Over the years many terms have been used to describe synoptic and mesoscale phenomena. In some cases, different terms have been used for the same phenomenon. The choice of terminology depended upon the source of the research on the phenomenon. Listed below are a variety terms and the source for these terms. It is hoped that this list will help clarify the origin and application of these terminology.


Radar-Based

(storm-scale)

  • Bookend Vortices
  • Bounded Weak Echo Region (BWER)
  • Bow Echo
  • Bright Band
  • Echo-Free Vault
  • Fine Line (gust front on radar)
  • Squall Line (linear satellite system)
  • Hook Echo
  • Mesocyclone
  • Trailing Stratiform Region
  • Training Echoes
  • Single Cell T-Storm
  • Multicell T-Storm
  • Supercell T-Storm
  • Rear Inflow Jet
  • Forward Flank Downdraft
  • Rear Flank Downdraft
  • Satellite-Based

    (mesoscale)

  • Convective Cluster
  • Derecho
  • MCS Propagation
  • Mesoscale Convective System
  • Linear
  • Squall Line
  • Circular
  • Mesoscale Convective Complex (size and duration criteria)
  • Mesoscale Convective Vortex
  • Overshooting Top
  • Forecasting-Based

  • Boundaries
  • Convectively-induced (gust front)
  • Sea-breeze front
  • Front (all types)
  • Convergence Lines
  • Air Mass Thunderstorms (passť)
  • Capping Inversion
  • Low-Level Jet
  • Frontal Squall Line (n.b.: not all squall lines are frontal)
  • Visual/Weather Observation-Based

  • Anvil
  • Mammatus Clouds
  • Thunderstorms
  • Virga
  • Visual/Chase-Based

    (storm scale)

  • Downdraft
  • Gust Front
  • Roll Cloud
  • Shelf Cloud
  • Rain-Free Base
  • Updraft
  • Wall Cloud
  • Storm Descriptions

  • Cool Pool/Cold Pool
  • Entrainment
  • Thunderstorm Project (1949)
  • Cumulus Stage (now: a stage of a Single Cell T-Storm)
  • Mature State (now: a stage of a Single Cell T-Storm)
  • Dissipating Stage (now: a stage of a Single Cell T-Storm)
  • Downburst
  • Microburst
  • Macroburst

  • Return to the Operational Weather Topics page

    last updated on 3/04/10