The Carr Fire Vortex

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Corvallis, Oregon
#1
Remember this from July?


Was just reading in the news about a new paper on that. Excerpt from the news story:

. . . "This sequence suggests the Carr Fire vortex may qualify as pyro-genetic tornado, and not merely a tornado-strength fire-generated vortex."

In his study, satellite and radar observations document the evolution of the vortex revealing similarities to tornado dynamics. A key factor in the vortex formation was the development of a fire-generated ice-topped cloud (known as a pyro-cumulonimbus) which reached as high as 39,000 ft. The development of the cloud helped stretch the underlying column of air, concentrating the rotation near the surface and causing the tornado strength winds, estimated at 143 mph, the strength of an EF-3 tornado . . . It is this link to the cloud aloft that distinguishes the Carr fire vortex from more frequently observed fire-thirls, which tend to be smaller and less intense.
People here will probably understand that better than I do.
 
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633
Location
Harvest, Alabama
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Storm Mapping User
#3
Remember this from July?


Was just reading in the news about a new paper on that. Excerpt from the news story:



People here will probably understand that better than I do.
After reading it, it does make sense. The fire generated a pyrocumulus cloud that seems to have somehow formed in an environment sheared enough to support supercellular structures, and there was enough low level helicity to generate what is essentially a significant tornado. Whether that came from the chaotic environment of the fire, topography, a background synoptic setup, or a combination of factors remains to be seen, but it does sound like it was a very rare and unusual tornadic environment in the vicinity of that vortex.
 

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