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Question:
Is there anyway to tell if a thunderstorm has a better chance of producing a supercell tornado compared to a normal smaller one?


Replies:
The short answer is, NO. However, I realize that is not very satisfactory. The larger question is, "What are the atmospheric dynamics that produce "extreme weather", of which tornados are the most common example.

The mechanism of tornado formation, and their propagation is only beginning to be understood, and there is a long way to go. The term you used "supercell" suggests to me that you have already done some research into tornados. There are a number of books on the subject (you can search Amazon.com or other on-line vendor). One that I just finished, "Extreme Weather" by Christopher C. Burt, is interesting reading. This is not an endorsement, there are no doubt other good selections.

Vince Calder


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