Key Parameters

Frontal Parameters (TFP, equivalent thickness)

Typical configurations for fronts and thickness ridges are described in detail by the relevant conceptual models (see also Cold Fronts, Warm Fronts). In this case, the typical area for the initiation of convection is along the leading edge of a Cold Front cloud band, immediately in front of the TFP and an area of high thickness gradients.

Environment typical for development of MCS: equivalent thickness ridge with a frontal system
30 May 2005/00.00 UTC - Meteosat 8 IR10.8 image; blue: thermal front parameter 500/850 hPa, green: equivalent thickness 500/850 hPa

Stability index (Showalter index)

The relevant area is indicated by Showalter values less than 3 and further east even less stable with negative values.

Environment typical for development of MCS: equivalent thickness ridge with a frontal system and Showalter Index values less than 3
30 May 2005/00.00 UTC - Meteosat 8 IR10.8 image; yellow: Showalter index 500/850 hPa

Equivalent potential temperature at 850 hPa

The MCSs develop in the area of high gradient close to the front and to the W or NW of the ridge of high ThetaE values.

Environment typical for development of MCS: low level potential temperature ridge
30 May 2005/00.00 UTC - Meteosat 8 IR10.8 image; magenta: ThetaE 850 hPa