Mesoscale Convective Complex. A large MCS, generally round or oval-shaped, which normally reaches peak intensity at night. The formal definition includes specific minimum criteria for size, duration, and eccentricity (i.e., "roundness"), based on the cloud shield as seen on infrared satellite photographs:

MCCs typically form during the afternoon and evening in the form of several isolated thunderstorms, during which time the potential for severe weather is greatest. During peak intensity, the primary threat shifts toward heavy rain and flooding.

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