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Stunning image captures lightning strike from wildfire’s pyrocumulus cloud

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013 8:49am MDT

Weather of course clearly affects wildfires but fires themselves can literally create their own weather.  One such phenomena are pyrocumulus clouds and a photo from a wildfire in Alaska provides a stunning example.

Pyrocumulus clouds are formed by fires or volcanos when the intense heat from the event rises from the surface.  These clouds oftentimes look like dirty thunderstorm clouds directly over a blaze and can give rise to thunderstorm-like weather conditions.

Lightning from these clouds can occur and in particular when coupled with a volcanic eruption are absolutely amazing.  With wildfires, the strong winds and lightning can result in dangerous and unpredictable expansion of a fire.

The Moon Lake Complex Fire is currently burning in eastern Alaska and has scorched over 18,000 acres.  Inciweb posted a photo of a pyrocumulus cloud over the blaze near Tok that let loose a stunning bolt of lightning.

June 2, 2013 - A pyrocumulus cloud above the Moon Lake Complex Fire in Alaska unleashes a lightning bolt. (Inciweb)

June 2, 2013 – A pyrocumulus cloud above the Moon Lake Complex Fire in Alaska unleashes a lightning bolt. (Inciweb)

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One Response to “Stunning image captures lightning strike from wildfire’s pyrocumulus cloud”

  1. Ben Says:

    Wow, Photoshop “strikes” again!

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