7:45 PM CDT | May 12, 2018
Weather is amazing to watch. Yesterday, there was a large wildfire to the east-southeast of Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. Strong upward motion from the intense heat lifted water vapor and ash particles well above the surface. As the moisture condensed, pyrocumulus clouds formed. This eventually lead to lightning, and a Severe Thunderstorm formed. The Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) created an excellent satellite loop of this rare weather event. At the top, you can see the visible satellite. Farther down, you can see the infrared satellite. The fire is the red dot on the left side of the screen. It may take the video a minute or so to load.
Ironically, it was the dry conditions that set the stage for the fire, which then aided in the development of the storm, which tracked eastward into Western Oklahoma, bringing much-needed rain to areas that have been dealing with fires for months. It produced Quarter-size Hail in Wheeler, Texas and a 62 MPH Wind Gust near Putnam, Oklahoma. The wind gust was associated with a heat burst which occurred as the storm began to collapse. As always, you can get the latest weather updates from Texas Storm Watch on the blog and Facebook page!
*Satellite video provided courtesy of UW-Madison SSEC/CIMSS