National News

Kilauea creating "fire clouds"

Posted July 21, 2018 11:52 a.m. EDT

— We've seen lava bombs, ash clouds and rivers of lava and recently we've seen a new kind of volcanic phenomenon called pyrocumulonimbus

"That is just a thunderstorm cloud that is enhanced or just a little bit more powerful due to the fact that we have that lava flow," said Island News Meteorologist Pete Caggiano. "That lava creates the heat from the lava rises up it rises higher than what we see on a normal day."

The results are a sight to see. These clouds dubbed "fire clouds" are unique from other thunder clouds

"think the difference is the weather around it is not affected, its very localized. So where you have the heat is where you're gonna see the thunderstorm. So you can be watching from Hilo and its relatively sunny then you look south and you see big thunder storms developing a lot of folks have been watching them in awe," said Caggiano.

And the fire clouds aren't the only way Kilauea's been creating some intense weather. A few weeks ago we saw a volcanic tornado called a land spout, also caused by rising heat.

"Its technically a form of tornado it develops from the ground instead of from above," said Caggiano. "It really is incredible to see. Certainly from a distance its quite the show, nature is putting on its own show."