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9-5-2020 Creek Fire Pyrotornadoes (1 Viewer)


MNTornadoGuy

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32
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Apple Valley, MN
Photographs have recently come out showing damage from an EF1 tornado near Huntington Lake and an EF2 tornado near Mammoth Pool. Another interesting thing to note about this event is that this is the first time SPC Storm Reports have been used to report a pyrotornado.

Huntington Lake EF1


Mammoth Pool EF2


 
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MNTornadoGuy

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Apple Valley, MN
I find this video the most fascinating, how it doesn't stop it, but merely turns it into a different type of vortex.

The physics involved in firenadoes must be really complex and certainly a fascinating area of study.
Pyrotornadoes are very complex features as they seem to form in many different ways. Some are mesocyclonic while others seem to be more like landspout tornadoes. The recent EF2 pyrotornado near Mammoth Pool seems to have been mesocyclonic. It also seems to have been a large tornado considering how widespread the tree damage shown in damage photographs is and the size of the funnel in the only photograph of the tornado itself that I could find. (The photograph was taken 11 miles away from the tornado.)
 
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buckeye05

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577
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Riverside, Ohio
Fire tornadoes are some of the most interesting meteorological phenomenon I know of. I’m absolutely fascinated by them, and it seems that they are being documented and studied more as of recent.

My question is, if they are now rated on the EF Scale and warnings are issued for them, why aren’t they listed in the NCDC database? If they are now considered to be a genuine type of tornado, why aren’t they being fully recorded as such?
 

buckeye05

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Radar velocity image of the Mammoth Pool EF2. Looks consistent with the kind of radar image associated with mesocyclonic tornadoes. Incredible! I look forward to learning more about this phenomenon.
 

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MNTornadoGuy

Member
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32
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Fire tornadoes are some of the most interesting meteorological phenomenon I know of. I’m absolutely fascinated by them, and it seems that they are being documented and studied more as of recent.

My question is, if they are now rated on the EF Scale and warnings are issued for them, why aren’t they listed in the NCDC database? If they are now considered to be a genuine type of tornado, why aren’t they being fully recorded as such?
A post from the SPC forecaster Andrew Lyons might hint why they haven't been included in the NCDC database. He says he feels it "goes against the original intent of the database" and he fears that it might "screwup climatology."
 

MNTornadoGuy

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32
Location
Apple Valley, MN
Radar velocity image of the Mammoth Pool EF2. Looks consistent with the kind of radar image associated with mesocyclonic tornadoes. Incredible! I look forward to learning more about this phenomenon.
Yeah the radar presentation of the EF2 was amazing. It was like nothing I've seen on a California radar site. It even had a TDS at one point that extended up to 10 kft.
tds.png
 
Messages
311
Location
Missouri
Pyrotornadoes are very complex features as they seem to form in many different ways. Some are mesocyclonic while others seem to be more like landspout tornadoes. The recent EF2 pyrotornado near Mammoth Pool seems to have been mesocyclonic. It also seems to have been a large tornado considering how widespread the tree damage shown in damage photographs is and the size of the funnel in the only photograph of the tornado itself that I could find. (The photograph was taken 11 miles away from the tornado.)
Yeah, apparently there are pyrocumulus and pyrocumulonimbus clouds, the latter being mesocyclonic and the former non-mesocyclonic, just like with tornadoes. What's interesting is that these clouds can also be spawned by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, such as the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. Apparently the Hiroshima bomb spawned a firestorm that triggered a fire tornado that swept across the city 3 hours afterward. Seems like these things have happened many times in the past, but only now are they being reliably documented.
 

MNTornadoGuy

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Apple Valley, MN
Yeah, apparently there are pyrocumulus and pyrocumulonimbus clouds, the latter being mesocyclonic and the former non-mesocyclonic, just like with tornadoes. What's interesting is that these clouds can also be spawned by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, such as the 1923 Great Kanto earthquake. Apparently the Hiroshima bomb spawned a firestorm that triggered a fire tornado that swept across the city 3 hours afterward. Seems like these things have happened many times in the past, but only now are they being reliably documented.
Well they aren't directly spawned by earthquakes, the fires that break out across the area due to overturned stoves cause the formation of pyrocumulonimbus. Anyways they probably did happen many times in the past, one of the most notable of them being the 1871 Peshtigo fire tornado. That tornado reportedly lifted large frame homes hundreds of feet into the air, snapped or uprooted hundreds of trees, moved a church bell 50 feet and tossed railcars several hundred feet off the tracks.
 
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buckeye05

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Riverside, Ohio
I’m assuming everyone has probably already heard about this, but one of the most well-documented pyrotornadoes of all time occurred near Mount Arawang, Australia back in 2003. It produced an audible roar, lofted debris high into the air, tossed and mangled cars, and caused major structural damage to several well-built homes. It manifested in the “classic” funnel/stovepipe shape, and was eventually classified as an EF3 tornado years later (damage pics I’ve seen look more like EF2 but what do I know).

Here is a photo of it, and as you can see, it was pretty large and well-organized. There’s also good raw video of it on YouTube.
 

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MNTornadoGuy

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Apple Valley, MN
I’m assuming everyone has probably already heard about this, but one of the most well-documented pyrotornadoes of all time occurred near Mount Arawang, Australia back in 2003. It produced an audible roar, lofted debris high into the air, tossed and mangled cars, and caused major structural damage to several well-built homes. It manifested in the “classic” funnel/stovepipe shape, and was eventually classified as an EF3 tornado years later (damage pics I’ve seen look more like EF2 but what do I know).

Here is a photo of it, and as you can see, it was pretty large and well-organized. There’s also good raw video of it on YouTube.
The original study about the tornado says it only produced EF2 damage but mentions it might have reached EF3 intensity in rural areas. I have no idea how the rumor of it being a high-end EF3 got started. Anyways here is the said video you were talking about.
 

MNTornadoGuy

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Apple Valley, MN
What I believe was one of the strongest well-documented pyrotornadoes was the 2018 Carr Fire tornado. It tossed and mangled cars (one of the vehicles tossed was a 25-ton bulldozer), a marine shipping container was lofted (some reports say it was thrown a half-mile but I can't find any confirmation), hardwood trees were completely debarked or uprooted, intense ground scouring occurred at the area of maximum intensity, steel transmission towers were torn from concrete mountings and mangled (one of the transmission towers was so obliterated all they could find was the top truss 300 yards away) and burnt homes had all the debris swept from the foundation. The tornado also had visibly extreme motion. I wouldn't be surprised if it reached high-end EF3 intensity or maybe even low-end EF4 intensity.
 

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buckeye05

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What I believe was one of the strongest well-documented pyrotornadoes was the 2018 Carr Fire tornado. It tossed and mangled cars (one of the vehicles tossed was a 25-ton bulldozer), a marine shipping container was lofted (some reports say it was thrown a half-mile but I can't find any confirmation), hardwood trees were completely debarked or uprooted, intense ground scouring occurred at the area of maximum intensity, steel transmission towers were torn from concrete mountings and mangled (one of the transmission towers was so obliterated all they could find was the top truss 300 yards away) and burnt homes had all the debris swept from the foundation. The tornado also had visibly extreme motion. I wouldn't be surprised if it reached high-end EF3 intensity or maybe even low-end EF4 intensity.
Haven’t seen some of these. Looks like it may have been potentially violent. Hard to say home much of this was from wind alone versus heat/flames though.
 

MNTornadoGuy

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Apple Valley, MN
Haven’t seen some of these. Looks like it may have been potentially violent. Hard to say home much of this was from wind alone versus heat/flames though.
Some of the intense damage did occur in areas that were untouched by fire though the damage to homes was probably mostly done by the fire versus the tornado.


Video showing the Carr Fire tornado near peak intensity. The motion is really impressive.
 
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311
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Missouri
Haven’t seen some of these. Looks like it may have been potentially violent. Hard to say home much of this was from wind alone versus heat/flames though.
I think determining how much of the damage is done by wind and by fire/heat may be one of those variables that is difficult, if not impossible to ascertain and so they just go by wind damage alone for the ratings, but I'm not sure. Perhaps a separate scale will have to be developed for firenadoes.
 

Lori

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The original study about the tornado says it only produced EF2 damage but mentions it might have reached EF3 intensity in rural areas. I have no idea how the rumor of it being a high-end EF3 got started. Anyways here is the said video you were talking about.
That is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Literally Hell on Earth!!
 

MNTornadoGuy

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Apple Valley, MN
That is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen. Literally Hell on Earth!!
Fire tornadoes are one of the scariest meteorological event on the planet. They look evil with the red glow of the fire. Also new footage has come out of the devastation caused by the Creek Fire EF2. Many trees snapped, uprooted or denuded.

 
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