S125 A Case Study of Pyrotornadogenesis from a Prescribed Burn near San Angelo, Texas

Sunday, 12 January 2020
Joseph M. Langfeld, Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX; and L. D. Newell and T. Logan

On August 16, 2019, a prescribed burn of 8 square kilometers of brushland initiated near Christoval, Texas, a small town 16 kilometers south-southeast of San Angelo, Texas. After the burn, multiple heat-generated vortices were spotted by a local fireman in the midst of the smoldering ash. A key factor in the development of the vortices was the formation of a fire-generated cloud (pyrocumulonimbus) between 18-21z, that reached 12 kilometers into the troposphere. Radar and satellite data document the evolution of the pyrocumulonimbus cloud that went on to produce a case of pyrotornadogenesis. Using NEXRAD radar products to study the structure and development of the convective plume, the goal is to analyze the mesoscale environment surrounding the storm and the conditions leading to pyrotornadogenesis. This study will aid scientists and forecasters in the comprehension, identification, and warning process for future cases of pyrotornadogenesis.
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