Take a look at this picture.Mesocyclone beginning

Moist updrafts interact with highly-sheared upper-level winds, which sets up a horizontal vortex. But why? What causes the air to be forced downward and to the right, then continue rising (also to the right)?

  • $\begingroup$ there is vertical shear in the mesocyclone environment. Think about the tilting term in the vorticity tendency equation. $\endgroup$ – gansub Sep 20 at 7:26
  • $\begingroup$ sites.psu.edu/pmarkowski/how-tornadoes-form seems to offer a nicer explanation for why it happens... basically if I get it still (it has been a long time since I've looked at such subjects!), [in the Northern Hemisphere] having south winds below and the west winds aloft torques the air in between kind of like how an American football would spin by applying two different horizontal directions of motion with your hands at the top and bottom? $\endgroup$ – JeopardyTempest Oct 7 at 22:07

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