NOAA / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NOAA / SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
A strong supercell thunderstorm drops hail, with the WSR-88D Doppler radar at New Underwood, South Dakota May 26, 2004. A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, continuously-rotating updraft. For this reason, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms. Of the four classifications of thunderstorms (supercell, squall line, multi-cell, and single-cell), supercells are the overall least common and have the potential to be the most severe.
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