Australian bushfires changing weather conditions; may lead to thunderstorms causing more wildfires

Australian meteorologists warned that the bushfires in the country have become so big that they're creating their own weather

An agency in Australia warned that the bushfires in the country have already reached a critical point that they have already started to generate their own weather. According to meteorologists, this phenomenon could lead to thunderstorms, which can cause more bushfires to appear.

The warning came from the Bureau of Meteorology based in Australia. As reported by the agency, the bushfires in areas such as Gippsland in South Australia have already started forming their own clouds.

Australian bushfire
Wikimedia Commons

How Bushfires Create Their Own Storms

According to the agency, the extreme heat from bushfires can lead to the formation of pyro-cumulonimbus clouds. This occurs when the plume of smoke filled with the hot air from the bushfires rises. As these plumes get high enough, they begin to cool down and form clouds due to the low atmospheric pressure. The water droplets within these clouds then begin to condense, which could cause rains over affected areas.

The agency warned that through this process, the bushfires might generate thunderstorms. It noted that the lightning and strong winds from these storms could cause new bushfires to start. "Pyro-cumulonimbus clouds have developed to altitudes over 16km in East #Gippsland this afternoon," the bureau tweeted. "These fire-induced storms can spread fires through lightning, lofting of embers and generation of severe wind outflows."

Australian bushfires
The Australian bushfires captured by the Suomi NPP Satellite. NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System EOSDIS

Latest Updates About The Australian Bushfires

According to the latest reports, the bushfires in Australia have already affected a total of 5.9 million hectares of land, which is an area bigger than Haiti and Belgium combined. CNN noted that the area which has been affected most by the natural disasters is New South Wales. Currently, 3.6 million hectares of land have already been burned by the bushfires in the area.

In response to the growing crisis, New South Wales has already declared a state of emergency. Aside from thousands of firefighters, the Australian government has also deployed military personnel from the army, air force and navy to assist in various operations in different parts of the country.