Biological and Environmental Research - Earth and Environmental System Sciences
Earth and Environmental System Modeling

Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms

TitleWildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume46
Number16
Pages10082-10093
Abstract / Summary

Wildfires are extreme events associated with weather, climate, and environment and have been increasing globally in frequency, burn season length, and burned area. It is of great interest to understand the impacts of wildfires on severe convective storms through releasing heat and aerosols into the atmosphere. We have developed a model capability that can account for the impact of sensible heat fluxes from wildfires on thermodynamics and is computationally efficient. The pyrocumulonimbus clouds associated with the Texas Mallard Fire on 11–12 May 2018 are well simulated by accounting for both heat and aerosols emitted from the wildfire. Both heat and aerosol effects increase low‐level temperatures and midlevel buoyancy and enhance convective intensity. Intensified convection along with more supercooled liquid condensate due to stronger vertical transport results in larger hailstones and enhanced lightning. The effects of heat flux on the convective extremes are more significant than those of aerosol emissions.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2019gl084534
DOI10.1029/2019gl084534
Journal: Geophysical Research Letters
Year of Publication: 2019
Volume: 46
Number: 16
Pages: 10082-10093
Publication Date: 08/2019

Wildfires are extreme events associated with weather, climate, and environment and have been increasing globally in frequency, burn season length, and burned area. It is of great interest to understand the impacts of wildfires on severe convective storms through releasing heat and aerosols into the atmosphere. We have developed a model capability that can account for the impact of sensible heat fluxes from wildfires on thermodynamics and is computationally efficient. The pyrocumulonimbus clouds associated with the Texas Mallard Fire on 11–12 May 2018 are well simulated by accounting for both heat and aerosols emitted from the wildfire. Both heat and aerosol effects increase low‐level temperatures and midlevel buoyancy and enhance convective intensity. Intensified convection along with more supercooled liquid condensate due to stronger vertical transport results in larger hailstones and enhanced lightning. The effects of heat flux on the convective extremes are more significant than those of aerosol emissions.

DOI: 10.1029/2019gl084534
Citation:
Zhang, Y, J Fan, T Logan, Z Li, and CR Homeyer.  2019.  "Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms."  Geophysical Research Letters 46(16): 10082-10093.  https://doi.org/10.1029/2019gl084534.