The beauty of wildfires

We’re still getting fairly gorgeous sunrises and sunsets in Minnesota, thanks to the wildfires burning out West.

What else can the fires provide? Thunderstorms, according to NASA’s earth observatory.

In images provided this week, NASA notes that the heat of the wildfires creates Pyrocumulus clouds when conditions are right, which they are.


Says NASA:

Pyrocumulus clouds—sometimes called “fire clouds”—are tall, cauliflower-shaped, and appear as opaque white patches hovering over darker smoke in satellite imagery. Pyrocumulus clouds are similar to cumulus clouds, but the heat that forces the air to rise (which leads to cooling and condensation of water vapor) comes from fire instead of sun-warmed ground. Under certain circumstances, pyrocumulus clouds can produce full-fledged thunderstorms, making them pyrocumulonimbus clouds.

It’s another example of the beauty nature provides in disasters.

On the ground? Not so much.

Donna Garner, right, embraces former employee Napua Gonsales-Merck while they shift through the remains of the Fireside Village, a restaurant and shop owned by the Garners for over 30 years, in the aftermath of the Eiler Fire on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Hat Creek, Calif. Light rain and higher humidity are helping crews make progress in their fight against two wildfires in the Northern California forest that are just miles apart. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(h/t: Hart Van Denburg)