In the world of meteorology, we have lots of abbreviations. One is "MCV," which stands for mesoscale convective vortex. Thunderstorm initiation often takes a number of conditions to come together - moisture (humidity) and warmth near the ground, colder air aloft, convergence of air near the ground, and divergence of air aloft, just to name a few. Sometimes, one of these processes can be an overwhelming factor in thunderstorm initiation, and another of the factors can develop as a product of increasing thunderstorm activity. If the area favorable for thunderstorm growth is large, a cluster of thunderstorms can develop. As these thunderstorms converge and continue developing in the same area, the process of condensation (the part of the water cycle that makes steam and clouds - water vapor/gas, changing back to liquid droplets) releases lots of heat energy. With time, if the cluster of storms continues to blossom, the system can take on its own warm core several thousand feet off of the ground, much like a tropical storm or hurricane would have. In this case, the warm core is even more impressive of a feat to accomplish, because development does not take place over warm, tropical waters. Nonetheless, while the core of the system may be warm, the very tall clouds associated with the thunderstorms create extremely cold cloud tops aloft (way high up in the sky - some 40-50,000 feet), resembling what's called the "central dense overcast" (CDO) region of a tropical system. Numerous studies have been done by researchers that liken these MCVs to tropical systems, including a well developed outflow of air from the top of the system, high in the sky. For those who have doubts, wonder no longer. Today produced one of the most impressive MCVs I can remember seeing in my lifetime - I've seen these many times before - spinning air representing energy aloft that was essentially formed within the thunderstorm cluster, but I'm not sure I've ever seen anything as impressive as this one. No surprise that multiple severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings were issued beneath this beast. Also check out the miniature warm, cold and occluded fronts associated with the system, but they all trace back to the pseudo warm core. Amazing!
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