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Researchers confirm first 'fire tornado'

fire tornado canberra pyro-tornadogenesis

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#1    Still Waters

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:30 PM

Canberra researchers say they have confirmed the first case of a fire tornado from analysis of evidence collected during the January 2003 Canberra fires.

"The various data were combined and analysed to provide information on the occurrence and behaviour of the phenomenon known as pyro-tornadogenesis," Mr McRae said.

"Researchers had speculated about the ability of a fire to produce a tornado, but this is the first documentation of the creation of a true tornado by the convection column of a large fire," he said.

http://www.smh.com.a...1119-29liv.html

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#2    Taun

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 08:38 PM

Really glad we don't get that type of tornado here in Oklahoma... The regular F5 type is quite exciting enough ...

Edited by Taun, 20 November 2012 - 08:38 PM.


#3    Doug1o29

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

View PostTaun, on 20 November 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:

Really glad we don't get that type of tornado here in Oklahoma... The regular F5 type is quite exciting enough ...
Sorry, but....
The phenomenon is also called a fire whirl and has been known to fire service personnal for decades.  It's in the USFS fire behavior manuals.  And we do get them in Oklahoma.
Doug

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#4    Little Fish

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:34 PM

they were quite common in Dresden at one time.


#5    Likely Guy

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:38 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 20 November 2012 - 09:45 PM, said:

Sorry, but....
The phenomenon is also called a fire whirl and has been known to fire service personnal for decades.  It's in the USFS fire behavior manuals.  And we do get them in Oklahoma.
Doug

I fought forest fires in British Columbia for 9 years. They're very well known. But, I guess if there isn't a scientist around to verify it, it never happened?

Edit: Oh. From the article;

[The research team also showed how a fire tornado is fundamentally different from a fire whirl, which is commonly associated with fires.

"Tornadoes are associated with thunderstorms and as such they are anchored to a thundercloud above, and are able to sporadically lift off the ground. Fire whirls, on the other hand, are anchored to the ground and do not require the presence of a thunderstorm," Dr Sharples said.

The study provides more insight into the behaviour of thunderstorms that form over large fires, which is currently the subject of an international research effort.]

Well, I can't say that I've ever fought a fire during a thunderstorm. But the article said that whirls are anchored to the ground, and that's not true. Sometimes they're over the treetops (100 ft. + in the air).

Edited by Likely Guy, 21 November 2012 - 03:56 AM.


#6    Taun

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 11:36 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 20 November 2012 - 09:45 PM, said:

Sorry, but....
The phenomenon is also called a fire whirl and has been known to fire service personnal for decades.  It's in the USFS fire behavior manuals.  And we do get them in Oklahoma.
Doug

I was being a bit facetious....  I've seen several smaller versions around, especially in forest and range fires...


#7    Doug1o29

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 01:42 PM

View PostLikely Guy, on 21 November 2012 - 03:38 AM, said:

I fought forest fires in British Columbia for 9 years. They're very well known. But, I guess if there isn't a scientist around to verify it, it never happened?
They probably meant it was previously unknown to THEM.

Fire whirls form when the air is unstable.  Cumulus clouds are a warning that violent fire behavior is possible.  They also form when updrafts from a fire punch a hole in an inversion layer.
Doug

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#8    Hasina

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 02:01 PM

You really can't get more radical then 'fire tornado', except maybe 'shark hurricane' or 'razor typhoon'.

Edited by Hasina, 21 November 2012 - 02:02 PM.

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#9    Cobalt60

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostTaun, on 20 November 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:

Really glad we don't get that type of tornado here in Oklahoma... The regular F5 type is quite exciting enough ...
yet, anyway...I'm right between OKC and Lawton!


#10    Ashotep

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 11:49 PM

A regular tornado is bad enough.  I've heard of these before can't believe they are just now confirming them.


#11    Timonthy

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:18 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 20 November 2012 - 09:45 PM, said:

Sorry, but....
The phenomenon is also called a fire whirl and has been known to fire service personnal for decades.  It's in the USFS fire behavior manuals.  And we do get them in Oklahoma.
Doug
From the article: 'The research team also showed how a fire tornado is fundamentally different from a fire whirl, which is commonly associated with fires'.

Edit: They said it was an F2 with a base towards 500m in diametre!!

Edited by Timonthy, 26 November 2012 - 12:21 PM.

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#12    Taun

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

View PostCobalt60, on 21 November 2012 - 07:20 PM, said:

yet, anyway...I'm right between OKC and Lawton!

If you live anywhere near Chickasha you are right on the old tornado highway...  US 44... Seems like all the storms follow that road...

But on the good side, you are only about 26 miles away from Asgard! (Broxton)....





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