A classic comma cloud has taken shape across the central and eastern sections of the country. This is the same system that has caused the severe weather outbreaks for a significant section of the U.S. over the last few days.
A comma cloud is named after the shape it takes and what it looks like on satellite. It looks just like a comma. A low pressure system is what causes it to appear as a comma, as well as its associated warm front and cold front. The cold front makes up the tail of the comma and the warm front makes up the head of the comma.
The formation of a comma shape occurs when an area of low pressure develops and the air continuously circulates around it. If the system becomes stationary, like this current system has, then it takes on the comma shape. Once it begins moving eastward, then it becomes a comma cloud, and we can see that on the satellite imagery today (attached image).
A dry slot also develops where the comma head and tail meet. You can see that clearly on the satellite imagery over lower Michigan. That is another classic looking piece of the comma cloud. This dry slot region, which is also known as the surge region, is where the jet stream crosses the system. Eventually, over time, this jet stream will tear apart the system and it will no longer look like a comma and the system will weaken.
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