Types of severe storms

The atmosphere generates a number of different types of severe storms. Some examples include:

  • Supercell thunderstorms
  • Squall lines
  • Bow Echoes
  • Derechoes
  • Mesoscale Convective Complexes


  • Mesoscale convective complexes (MCCs) represent a larger form of MCS organization.
  • A system is identified as an MCC based on its characteristics as depicted on IR satellite imagery.
  • The physical characteristics include a general cloud shield with continuously low IR temperatures less than -32° C over an area 100,000 km2, with an interior cold cloud region with temperatures less than -52° C having an area of 50,000 km2.
  • MCCs often last for 6-12 h, and are especially known for producing heavy amounts of rain, although severe winds, hail, and tornadoes can also occur during the early phases of MCC evolution.
image adopted from COMET module on MCSs, ŠUCAR, 1998