We are all familiar with cumulus clouds. They are the big, puffy-white, whipped cream type that we all remember being fascinated with as kids. I learned a new word yesterday as I listened to radio news about the wildfire raging through Angeles National Forest.
This past weekend, I left Orange County and drove up the coast from Santa Monica to Ventura County. I witnessed Armageddon-like "Pyrocumulus " formations caused by the Station fire in Angeles National Forest. I had never heard of a pyrocumulus cloud before and was amazed at the facts that I discovered. For those of you that know nothing about them, here is some interesting information:
Interesting facts about pyrocumulus clouds:
- related to fire or volcanic activity
- produced by intense heating from the surface of the earth
- can be brown or grayish brown in color
- clouds can expand because of the smoke and ash, and trigger thunderstorms.
- detonation of nuclear weapons produce pyrocumulus clouds.
- can help or hinder a wildfire.
- can produce rain that extinguishes the fire.