Washington wildfire smoke triggered a thunderstorm — and NASA researchers flew through it

  • Source: The Daily World
  • Published: 08/13/2019 12:00 AM

Wildfire smoke from the Williams Flats fire, burning on the Colville Indian Reservation, triggered a thunderstorm Thursday, and for one of the only times ever, scientists were able to fly through its clouds, photograph the phenomenon from a jet and take measurements from inside. The phenomenon, called a pyrocumulonimbus or PyroCb, “is essentially a thunderstorm that is created or driven by a wildfire,” said David Peterson, a meteorologist with the Naval Research Laboratory, giddy after Thursday’s flight. “The heating from the fire produces an updraft column and under certain favorable weather conditions, you can build a cloud on that plume.” These high-altitude thunderheads can produce thunder and lightning, but rarely dump precipitation.


We welcome comments from registered users. Comments are solely the responsibility of those who post them; their viewpoints are not endorsed by the Daily Dispatch and DailyDispatch.com. (read more)
ship name
no comments have been added

Sign up to subscribe to custom state Daily Dispatch emails for free

click to subscribe