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Annastasia Sienko

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, UW-Madison

The Documentation and Investigation of Pyrocumulonimbus Events

Room 811 AOSS, June 14, 2017, 10:00 AM

Abstract

Pyrocumulonimbus clouds (pyroCb) are deep convective events produced by intense wildfires that transport smoke plumes into the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere (UT/LS). Documentation of these pyroCb events have been provided by a blog at: pyrobCb events at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2013, over 100 pyroCb events have been documented with near-real-time imagery and products from MODIS, AIRS, VIIRS, CrIS, and geostationary sensors. From these documented cases we are investigating different meteorological conditions conducive to a pyroCb event occurring. To better characterize an atmosphere that is more favorable for pryoCb generation, we are examining the behavior of the mid-level water vapor, upper-level divergence, and low-level humidity. Other features, such as the convective available potential energy (CAPE), seem to be ineffective in determining whether a pyroCb event will occur. Lastly, a radiative transfer model was used to determine how these pyroCb events affect the radiative balance.



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