4.2 Doppler Lidar Observations of Plume Dynamics During the Rapid Deployments to Wildfires (RaDFire) Campaign

Tuesday, 5 May 2015: 3:30 PM
Great Lakes Ballroom (Crowne Plaza Minneapolis Northstar)
Craig B. Clements, San Jose State Univ., San Jose, CA; and N. P. Lareau

Preliminary observations of plume dynamics obtained as part of the Rapid Deployments to Wildfires (RaDFire) campaign are presented. RaDFire was conducted in California during the 2014 fire season using a truck mounted Doppler lidar, radiosonde system, and automatic weather stations. Here we draw from observations during 8 major wildfires to highlight poorly understood aspects of pyro-convection including (1) rotating updrafts, (2) penetrative convection, (3) turbulent entrainment, and (4) pyrocumulus. The first case examines lidar scans of the onset and intensification of vigorous anti-cyclonic column rotation, including the merger of smaller vorticies into a single long-lived vortex. The second case demonstrates aspects of rapid convective growth as fire-induced buoyancy penetrates through capping inversions and into the free troposphere. We also show a case in which the lidar scans resolve turbulent entrainment into a smoke plume (e.g., Fig. 1), which is a promising step towards constraining models of smoke injection depth. The final case examines the structure of a deep pyrocumulus cloud in terms of lifted condensation level measured by the lidar and on location radiosondes.

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