by Ryan Overton

Earlier today the National Weather Service here in Anchorage posted a link on their facebook showing a video from the interior where the wild fires are burning. Here is the link-


If you watch carefully you can see a counter-clockwise rotation in the smoke of the fire. This nearly resembles a tornado. How though does the smoke of a fire spin like this. One simple word - SHEAR-


No, not the shears you have a home for cutting hair. Wind Shear! At the surface you can have winds blowing to the east, but at 50 feet above the surface the winds can be blowing to the Northeast and at 100 feet the winds blowing to the North. This causes things to spiral and also an ingredient for a tornado.

Heat already has the ability to rise and when wind shear is involved with the smoke from wildfires not only can you see the smoke you see the rotation.


Here is another video showing wind shear at different elevations-


And for all the pilots out there, its a nightmare and causes turbulence as well. 


Ryan Overton



Facebook/Twitter - RyanOvertonAK

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