2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week.

Editor’s Pick

143-mph ‘fire tornado’ that cut a path of destruction is an ominous sign of the future


A high-tension power transmission line tipped over from a tornado-like vortex that reached speeds of possibly more than 143 mph. (Cal Fire / National Weather Service)/h5>

Redding Fire Vortex

As authorities sifted the rubble from the fire that burned more than 1,000 residences in Shasta County, they were startled by what they encountered.

A soaring transmission tower was tipped over. Tiles were torn off the roofs of homes. Massive trees were uprooted. Vehicles were moved. In one spot, a fence post was bent around a tree, with the bark on one side sheared off.

This was not typical wildfire damage. Rather, it was strong evidence of a giant, powerful spinning vortex that accompanied the Carr fire on July 26. The tornado-like condition, lasting an hour and a half and fueled by extreme heat and intensely dry brush as California heats up to record levels, was captured in dramatic videos that have come to symbolize the destructive power of what is now California’s sixth-most destructive fire.

It may take years before scientists come to a consensus on what to exactly call this vortex — a fire whirl, as named by the National Weather Service, or a fire tornado. Whatever it’s called, it’s exceptionally rare to see a well-documented fire-fueled vortex leap out of a wildfire and enter a populated area with such size, power and duration. 

143-mph ‘fire tornado’ that cut a path of destruction is an ominous sign of the future by Rong-Gong Lin Ii , Joseph Serna & Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, Aug 3, 2018

Links posted on Facebook

Sun July 29, 2018

Mon July 30, 2018

Tue July 31, 2018

Wed Aug 1, 2018

Thu Aug 2, 2018

Fri Aug 3, 2018

Sat Aug 4, 2018