Mesoscale convective vortex

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A screenshot from the Paducah, KY radar of a mesoscale convective vortex on May 8, 2009 near Carbondale, Illinois. This screenshot is from the approximate time a 106 mph (171 km/h) wind gust was recorded at the Carbondale airport.

A mesoscale convective vortex (MCV) is a low-pressure center within an mesoscale convective system (MCS) that pulls winds into a circling pattern, or vortex. With a core only 30 to 60 miles (97 km) wide and 1 to 3 miles (4.8 km) deep, an MCV is often overlooked in standard weather analysis[citation needed]. But an MCV can take on a life of its own, persisting for up to 12 hours after its parent MCS has dissipated. This orphaned MCV will sometimes then become the seed of the next thunderstorm outbreak. An MCV that moves into tropical waters, such as the Gulf of Mexico, can serve as the nucleus for a tropical storm or hurricane.[citation needed]

May 2009 Mid-Mississippi Valley MCV[edit]

On Friday, May 8, 2009, a major MCV controversially dubbed an "inland hurricane" by local media moved through Southern Missouri, Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Southwestern Indiana, killing at least 6 and injuring dozens more. Damage estimates were in the hundreds of millions. Top speeds of 106 mph (171 km/h) were reported in Carbondale, Illinois.[1][2][3][4][5]

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