A rare and fiery tornado was spotted on Saturday near a fire in California.
The National Weather Service Office issued a tornado warning for a pyrocumulonimbus cloud that formed by the Loyalton Fire, saying it was “capable of producing a fire-induced tornado and outflow winds in excess of 60 mph”.
A pyrocumulonimbus cloud forms above intense rising heat, typically from a fire or volcano. Fire tornadoes are created when the rising heat from a fire pulls in smoke, fire and dirt, creating a rotation vortex above the blaze.
Fire tornadoes can be massive and deadly.
🔥🌪 Just when you think #2020 can’t possibly be any crazier. The National Weather Service issued a rare tornado warning for a fire tornado in Sierra County, California this weekend. Extreme fire behavior expected again today. pic.twitter.com/xiMWfhG4kE
— Brandon Orr (@BrandonOrrWPLG) August 16, 2020
In 2018, one claimed the lives of a firefighter and bulldozer driver battling the Carr Fire. When the National Weather Service surveyed the damage on that firenado, it determined it was equivalent to an EF-3 tornado with winds in excess of 143 mph.