Australia’s catastrophic bushfires are generating severe thunderstorm systems
It was only two days ago that the New South Wales Rural Fire Service warned the developing bushfires were growing in intensity and would generate its own weather system. Unfortunately, these bushfires were growing far too quick to be contained. In turn, these sorts of weather patterns become a repeating cycle: fires, wind, thunderstorm, lighting, and repeat.
The Amazon fires had roughly 2.2M hectares burned, the 2019/2020 Australia Bushfire has burned 5.9M hectares so far. It’s a bit mind-blowing to draw a comparison between two very large numbers. The destruction of wildlife alone is enough to make your stomach churn, and the video really communicates the devastation:
Most of the pictures of these bushfires and the pyro-cumulonimbus (sometimes referred to as cumulonimbus flammagenitus) cloud formations are really intense:
According to Quartz, this is only the beginning. Climate change has radically altered meteorology on Earth, and we can expect these sorts of weather patterns more frequently in arid regions:
As global temperatures rise, pyrocumulus clouds may become more common. A similar fire-induced weather system took place during California’s wildfire season in 2018. The state’s hilly terrain created perfect conditions for not only thunderstorms, but fire tornadoes. An unprecedented number of wildfires in north Russia and the Arctic Circle in the summer of 2019, as captured by satellite images, contributed to an increase in lightning strikes in the North Pole.
To make matters worse, the smoke and carbon dioxide is stuffing the air downstream in Auckland, New Zealand and turning the sky orange. This is getting really bad, really quickly.