Samstag, Juli 30, 2022
StartScience NewsLarge New Mexico Wildfire Spawns 7.5 Mile Hearth Cloud

Large New Mexico Wildfire Spawns 7.5 Mile Hearth Cloud


Calf Canyon Fire Pyrocumulonimbus Cloud

Calf Canyon Hearth produces a pyrocumulonimbus cloud. NOAA-20 VIIRS True Coloration RGB, False Coloration RGB, and Infrared Window (11.45 µm) photographs. Credit score: MOAA

An enormous, early season wildfire that continues to burn in northern New Mexico generated a pyrocumulonimbus cloud.

The Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak hearth continued to rage throughout northern New Mexico in mid-Might 2022, getting into its second month. On Might 13, it was the biggest hearth actively burning in the US and the second largest in New Mexico’s historical past.

The burned space spanned greater than 270,000 acres east of Santa Fe and stretched 50 miles (80 kilometers) from its northern to southern perimeter within the Sangre de Cristo mountains. As of Might 13, the fireplace was 29 % contained, totally on its southern perimeter, however continued to unfold northeast. A whole lot of buildings and houses have been destroyed, and hundreds of individuals have been evacuated. Evacuation orders remained in impact in San Miguel, Moro, and Colfax counties, and have been expanded into the ski resort city of Angel Hearth.

New Mexico Wildfire Spawns Fire Cloud Annotated

Might 10, 2022

Intervals of crucial hearth climate continued to problem the 1,800 firefighters battling the blaze. Extraordinarily low humidity and excessive winds helped unfold the fireplace by means of dry grass, brush, and bushes. Periodic gusts reaching 65 miles (105 kilometers) per hour prevented aerial firefighting efforts, together with water drops and the dispersal of flame retardant.

The cumulonimbus flammagenitus cloud (CbFg), often known as the pyrocumulonimbus cloud, is a sort of cumulonimbus cloud that varieties above a supply of warmth, resembling a wildfire or volcanic eruption, and will typically even extinguish the fireplace that created it. It’s the most excessive manifestation of a flammagenitus cloud.

On Might 10, 2022, the northern a part of the fireplace produced a pyrocumulonimbus cloud (pyroCb). These vertical plumes, generated by the warmth from a wildfire, can loft smoke and particulates excessive into the stratosphere. The pyroCb may be seen within the above natural-color picture, which was acquired by the Average Decision Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on May 10.

Researchers at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies measured a cloud-top temperature of -75°F (-59°C). This indicated that the cloud had reached the tropopause, the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere at an altitude of about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers).

“This is considered to be a small pyroCb,” said Mike Fromm, a meteorologist with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. “The significance is that it is still early in the fire season, so any indication of such a blowup tells us to be on high alert for more and bigger pyroCb events.”

The Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak fire complex formed when two smaller fires merged on April 22-23. The Hermits Peak fire had started as a prescribed burn in part of the Santa Fe National Forest on April 6, but erratic, gusty winds blew it out of control. The cause of the Calf Canyon fire, which started on April 19, is still being investigated.

Several other large fires also continued to burn across New Mexico in mid-May. The Cerro Pelado Fire burning southwest of Los Alamos National Laboratory has surpassed 45,000 acres and is 19 percent contained. The Cooks Peak Fire has burned 60,000 acres north of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and was 97 percent contained on May 13. Smoke from the fires has drifted north into Colorado and northeast across Kansas and the Midwest.

New Mexico Wildfire Burn Scars May 2022 Annotated

May 12, 2022

This false-color image was acquired on May 12, 2022, by MODIS-Aqua. The use of shortwave infrared and visible light (bands 7-2-1) shows the burn scars (in red) from three major fires burning in northern New Mexico. The largest scar, in the center of the image, is from the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak fire. To the west of Santa Fe is the Cerro Pelado burn scar. The scar to the northeast is from the Cooks Peak fire.

Most of the state continues to experience extreme to exceptional drought in the midst of the Southwest megadrought. New Mexico has had 244 fires so far this year, burning more than 360,000 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. That is roughly three times as much acreage as was burned in 2021, when 672 fires burned about 124,000 acres.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using MODIS data from NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS/Worldview.


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