Pyrocumulus Cloud Above the Cranston Fire

September 03, 2018

Pyrocum_18A_7919-Pano-Edit (1)

Photographer: Mark Ritter
Summary Authors: Mark Ritter; Jim Foster

Featured above is a pyrocumulus cloud that developed over the Cranston Fire in southern California, about 100 mi (161 km) southeast of Los Angeles, on July 25, 2018. Arson was evidently the cause of this huge fire. Once ignited the tinder dry trees and vegetation in San Bernardino National Forest quickly burned, covering over 7,500 charred acres. The intense heat generated by a wildfire initiates an uplift of air that often leads to the formation of convection cells. If sufficient water vapor is available to condense around the soot and ash particles produced by such a fire, the cumulus clouds that result are referred to as pyrocumulus clouds.

Photo Details: Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III; Software: Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic 7.4 (Macintosh); Exposure Time: 0.0004s (1/2500); Aperture: ƒ/10.0; ISO equivalent: 200; Focal Length: 45.0mm.