Published works

Published works

Pyrocumulonimbus forecasting: needs and issues

TitlePyrocumulonimbus forecasting: needs and issues
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsTory, KJ, Peace, M, Thurston, W
Document Number239
Date Published11/2016
InstitutionBushfire and Natural Hazards CRC
Report Number239

Pyrocumulonimbus events can substantially change the weather characteristics in the vicinity of fires, which may drastically affect fire behaviour.  This is of very considerable concern for fire managers, and therefore for fire weather forecasters.  In particular, the wind around a fire can become very erratic in the presence of pyroCb, with downburst winds a greater risk than at other times.  Lightning from pyroCb can ignite additional fires, and in extreme cases pyroCb may generate tornadoes (such as occurred during the 2003 Canberra fire).

Forecasters and fire managers need to be aware of the possibility of pyroCb development to allow for the chance of such erratic fire behaviour.  The environments that support pyroCb development, then, are an important topic of study for the Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, and the results of this research project will be of great interest to all involved in the planning for and management of dangerous wildfires.

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