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Title: Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms

Abstract

Wildfires are extreme events associated with weather, climate, and environment, and have been increasing globally in frequency, burning season, and burned area. It is of great interest to understand the impacts of wildfires on severe convective storms through releasing heat and aerosols into the atmosphere. In this study, we have developed and evaluated a new model capability by considering the impact of sensible heat fluxes from wildfires on thermodynamics. The pyrocumulonimbus clouds associated with the Texas Mallard Fire on 11-12 May 2018 are well simulated by accounting for both heat and aerosols emitted from the wildfire. Both heat and aerosol effects increase low-level temperatures and mid-level buoyancy, and enhance convective intensity. Intensified convection along with more supercooled liquid condensate at high altitudes due to stronger transport, result in larger hailstones and enhanced lightning. The effects of heat flux on the convective extremes are more significant than those of aerosol emissions.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]; ORCiD logo [4]; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division; Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
  2. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Atmospheric Sciences and Global Change Division
  3. Texas A & M Univ., College Station, TX (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences
  4. Univ. of Maryland, College Park, MD (United States). Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science
  5. Univ. of Oklahoma, Norman, OK (United States). School of Meteorology
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1577848
Report Number(s):
[PNNL-SA-143254]
[Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276]
Grant/Contract Number:  
[AC05-76RL01830]
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Additional Journal Information:
[ Journal Volume: 46; Journal Issue: 16]; Journal ID: ISSN 0094-8276
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; severe convective storms; wildfire; environmental thermodynamics; pyrocumulonimbus cloud; hail and lightning

Citation Formats

Zhang, Yuwei, Fan, Jiwen, Logan, Timothy, Li, Zhanqing, and Homeyer, Cameron R. Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1029/2019GL084534.
Zhang, Yuwei, Fan, Jiwen, Logan, Timothy, Li, Zhanqing, & Homeyer, Cameron R. Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms. United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL084534.
Zhang, Yuwei, Fan, Jiwen, Logan, Timothy, Li, Zhanqing, and Homeyer, Cameron R. Thu . "Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms". United States. doi:10.1029/2019GL084534. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1577848.
@article{osti_1577848,
title = {Wildfire Impact on Environmental Thermodynamics and Severe Convective Storms},
author = {Zhang, Yuwei and Fan, Jiwen and Logan, Timothy and Li, Zhanqing and Homeyer, Cameron R.},
abstractNote = {Wildfires are extreme events associated with weather, climate, and environment, and have been increasing globally in frequency, burning season, and burned area. It is of great interest to understand the impacts of wildfires on severe convective storms through releasing heat and aerosols into the atmosphere. In this study, we have developed and evaluated a new model capability by considering the impact of sensible heat fluxes from wildfires on thermodynamics. The pyrocumulonimbus clouds associated with the Texas Mallard Fire on 11-12 May 2018 are well simulated by accounting for both heat and aerosols emitted from the wildfire. Both heat and aerosol effects increase low-level temperatures and mid-level buoyancy, and enhance convective intensity. Intensified convection along with more supercooled liquid condensate at high altitudes due to stronger transport, result in larger hailstones and enhanced lightning. The effects of heat flux on the convective extremes are more significant than those of aerosol emissions.},
doi = {10.1029/2019GL084534},
journal = {Geophysical Research Letters},
number = [16],
volume = [46],
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {8}
}

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