Storm or Bushfire?
Did you have fun?
Bushfires are a regular feature of the Australian summer. It's not uncommon to have a bushfire plume on the horizon nearly every week of summer.
However... two unusual things happened this year. First, we had very unusual weather, in that we had rainstorms. Rain! We never get rain in the summer. So some of these pictures are of genuine clouds and rain. (Ohmigosh! Rain!)
Second, we had a firebug deliberately setting fires in our area. This is a Very Bad Thing. There are very stiff penalties for arson, because bushfires are extremely dangerous. They can present a real danger to property and lives.
So, here are our storms and bushfires.
1. 5 March 2015: bushfire. This fire was deliberately lit about 25km from where I live. In Western Australia, when the hot, dry East wind blows off the Nullarbor plain, it can fan flames, and send great plumes of smoke across to the coast. First Ladyship's train from school was delayed because of this fire.
2. 25 Feb 2015: storm. These are ordinary cumulonimbus clouds. Perth sits on the coast next to the Indian Ocean. Cool, moist air rolls in during the afternoon (aka the Fremantle Doctor). It rolls across the coastal plain until it hits the Stirling Ranges (they call it 'mountains' but it's really only a scarp). The air lifts, and creates these fluffy clouds that sometimes drop much-needed rain into our reservoirs.
It was unseasonably humid during February this year.
3. 3 Feb 2015: bushfire This is the Bureau of Meteorology's Serpentine radar. Normally this tracks rainfall, but sometimes it will pick up other atmospheric disturbances, such as this bushfire south of Marradong, which burned uncontrollably for about five days.
The other colourful bits on the radar are genuine, very much out-of-season rainstorms.
4. 4 Feb 2015. Bushfire or storm? It's both! This is a pyrocumulus cloud, which is generated over areas of extreme temperature, such as a volcano, or in this case, the Marradong bushfire. To give you a sense of just how big this cloud is, Marradong is 80km south southeast of my photographic location. If you guessed either storm or bushfire, you get a point. If you guessed both, you get three points.
5. 5 Feb 2015: storm. Okay, this wasn't even a storm, but very low-lying clouds of humidity that rolled in one afternoon. These clouds were almost low enough to be considered fog. These kinds of low-lying clouds are almost unheard of in this part of the world.
6. 27 Feb 2015: bushfire. This was the Safety Bay bushfire, another one deliberately lit by the Perth firebug. This was shot at the Safety Bay Exit of the Kwinana Freeway. This fire is literally burning on the other side of this intersection. If you look real close, you can see the green-vested police officer, who has blocked off the road. If you look even closer to the right side of the picture, just above the guardrails, you can see a touch of orange flame.
The entire freeway was closed due to bushfire. This is us taking the detour.
7. My, how angry and dark the Third of March is! (2015) storm, yet another unseasonable bout of rain.
Perth doesn't get much rain, so when we do, we're quite happy about it. When we get rain during our parched summers, we are doubly-happy. I love summer rain. It's a shame I don't get to see it terribly often.
8. 2 Feb 2015. storm for Culford. Armadale and Ocean Reef are also getting a pounding. These same fronts also rolled over Culford about an hour later.
Did you notice the Marradong bushfire in the lower bit of the map? Despite the week of rain we had, Marradong burned for a rather long time.
9. 28 Jan 2015: simple afternoon storm. These are excellent examples of a Really Hot & Humid Day. The temperature this day hit about 40C (105F) and was rather humid. When the Doctor rolls through then hits the Stirling scarp, these clouds will billow up. Sometimes they bring welcome rain.
10. 3 Feb 2015: bushfire. This is the aftermath of the Safety Bay bushfire (see Question 6).
Tally up your score and let me know how you went in the comments.
Do you have an impressive storm or bushfire picture? Please share!
Her Grace enjoys watching both storms and bushfires, albeit from a bit of a distance.