Thursday, June 13, 2013

Plume-Dominated Black Forest Fire

 This image was taken yesterday from an aircraft over the Black Forest Fire near Colorado Springs, CO, which up to now has burned 15,000 acres, 379 homes and damaged 9 others and killed two people. In this image the main area of the fire is being plume-dominated by the convection column at center which is acting as its own weather system. Note the barber pole twist of the column as directed by the coriolis effect (direction of rotation, not the rotation itself). Photo by John Wark (#PoisonedWeather)(all rights reserved).


  1. It's not the Coriolis Effect that is causing/directing the twist. The Coriolis Effect only affects very large scale events.

  2. I misspoke on that; it effects the direction of the rotation, of course, but does not cause the rotation. Also, Coriolis Effect works on not only large scale events (like large-scale low pressure systems such as but not limited to tropical weather systems), but even is the cause of tornadoes typically rotating counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere: a good mamy things want to rotate in unison with the rotation of the planet itself, not the least of which is a rotating convection column above a conflagration.

  3. Not quite so. Read this for simplest but relatively good explanation (ignore the main point about toilet flushes):

    1. That is a great Snopes article but it does not address our issue here. A convection column above a conflagration is not a toilet bowl draining and they nearly ALWAYS rotate cyclonically.