The fire-breathing cloud dragons

Forest fires devastate forests in the western United States. And there is another problem. It is a unique cloud formation above the sky. Firefighters and scientists are very concerned. They are the clouds scientifically called pyrocumulonimbus or “clouds of fire”. They produce tornadoes and lightning, which in turn create more fire. NASA calls them “the fire-breathing cloud dragons”.

Fire-breathing cloud kites threaten California.
Fire-breathing cloud kites threaten California.

They move fast. They are so powerful that they can create their own weather systems. Hard to fight thunderstorms. Under certain conditions on land and in the atmosphere, forest fires can devastate large areas. Its energy eventually creates a pyrocumulonimbus.

Forest fires are usually fueled by the wind. But a massive torch can hold so much force that the smoke it creates won’t spread sideways. Instead, form a pillar or feather. It can soar up to 15 km into the sky. When it reaches the stratosphere, it can condense and form clouds.

Pyrocumulonimbus tend to form in the afternoon. Death Valley National Park in California registered 54.4 ° C last Friday. On fire, pyrocumulonimbus can cause flame to spread. They even generate their own lightning bolts. In some cases, they can also generate rain. If the temperature drops at nightfall, there is another danger.

At the end of the afternoon this cloud will subside. There is a downdraft of thick smoke and embers. Yes, it can create more fires, ”says Lisa Cox. He is the chief information officer for the Western California wildfires. May cause sparks miles away from the main fire.

They can make existing fires much bigger.
They can make existing fires much bigger.
Fire that grows

“This is perhaps the most extreme thing I’ve ever seen,” wrote Daniel Swain. He is a climate scientist. Literally a firestorm. Thousands of lightning bolts and certainly countless new fires. ”Something that firefighters cannot fight directly.

There are an average of 25 clouds of fire in western North America each year. “In some well-publicized areas, the arson may seem to be getting more extreme,” say experts. Climate change is one of the causes.

Fire-breathing cloud dragons have risen over the past few decades. And it is not unlikely that they will retire to rest very soon. We just hope that one day you never look up at the sky … and see that kite ablaze.

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