Australia Wildfires: Supercell bushfire thunderstorms, tornadoes, fire-whirls and other deadly fires that spin

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ABC Adelaide

Spinning fire comes in three rough forms:

  • Fire-whirls – these are relatively small on the ground but can reach hundreds of metres into the air, like a dust devil or willy-willy
  • Fire-generated tornadoes – stronger than fire-whirls, these tornado-strength vortices that form during a fire are commonly known as “firenadoes”
  • Supercell bushfire thunderstorms – the biggest and most dangerous form of fire rotation, when the whole bushfire thunderstorm itself spins

“We know fire-whirls exist, they can be up to a few hundred metres high,” said Nick McCarthy, who studies the interaction of bushfires and thunderstorms at the University of Queensland.

Article submitted by, A Non Ymous.