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That fire vortex in the Carr fire might have been a tornado

Some meteorologists think that fire vortex in the Carr fire might have been a tornado

It's a bold claim, but there is strong evidence to suggest that the swirling fire vortex at the peak of the Carr was actually a tornado.

This tweet from Dr. Daniel Swain, a respected meteorologist, claims that when you add it all up it was a tornado.

Looking into it I can see his point. The fire created intense heat and lift for the air. As the air condensed in the sky a pyrocumulus cloud formed. These tall white clouds can be thousands of feet tall with lightning, updrafts, even hail and rain.

It sounds impossible but the fire created it's own weather just above it. This cloud was rotating as detected by nearby radar and to get a tornado the thunderstorm or storm itself must be broadly rotating.

We now have the main ingredients of a typical meso-cyclone...rotating storm even though it came together in an unusual way. The damage is the final piece of compelling evidence. After a storm a survey team will go into the area and asses the damage. If they see things like stripped bark, damage in multiple directions and other signs they can determine if the storm produced a tornado and what EF scale it would be classified.

It may be rare, and it may be very non-traditional but it is very possible and even likely that the Carr fire spawned a tornado when you look at the evidence.

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