According to the Bureau of Meteorology in Victoria, the ongoing bushfires in Australia are now so huge to be able to generate their weather by forming enormous thunderstorms and lightning which initiate more fires.
A tweet from the bureau dated 1st Jan 2020 claimed that pyro-cumulonimbus clouds had developed to altitudes of over 16km in the eastern side of Gippsland. The tweet also mentioned that the fire-induced storms could spread fires through lightning, upper parts of smouldering ashes and creation of severe wind outflows. Also, images taken by satellite showed strong smoke creating atmospheric clouds.
Violet fires produce a lot of dense smoke by default. Consequently, their heat can potentially form a localised intense updraft enough to produce its changes in the atmosphere above. The rising of both heat and smoke as the cloud plume cool off, creating a big puffy cloud which is capable of forming rain. Also, embers and hot ash can be scattered by the plume over a large area.
As time passes by, water droplets in the cloud compress potentially producing downpours. Lighting is also created due to the sharpness between the calm air outside the fire zone and a pyrocumulonimbus storm cloud. This lightning can, in turn, ignite new fires causing an endless loop of destructive bushfires. In case of a very powerful occurrence of a pyrocumulonimbus storm, a fire tornado can be generated such as one which happened in 2003 during the Canberra bushfires.
Yale E360 reported that Scientists fear the increase of “pyroCbs” globally, which is triggered by more powerful fires and warmer temperatures. The resulting plumes are extremely intense enough to even shoot smoke into the stratosphere which is 10 to 50 kilometres or 6 to 30 miles above the surface of the earth.
Recent reports indicate that the bushfires raging across Australian State are getting dangerous and difficult to contain posing an imminent threat to both human and animal life. Authorities are concerned that they cannot cover all the areas and they may have no choice but to abandon large areas leaving thousands of people who could still be trapped in the blaze’s path after they failed to evacuate in advance.
These bushfires show no sign of ending soon either due to the effect of the generated own weather or for some other reason whatsoever. This tragedy should be declared a national disaster in Australian State, and a task force should be created to control and prevent the occurrence of these fires in the future.