Wondering about big ‘cloud’ in the east? Wildfire near Leavenworth

July 16, 2014 at 5:06 pm | In Not WS but we're mentioning it anyway, West Seattle news | 5 Comments

Two people have texted us to ask about a big cloud/smoke plume in the east.

Thanks to @scruffydiver for the photo. Northwest Cable News says it’s a wildfire near Leavenworth (here’s a map) that has closed Highway 2.

ADDED 6:25 PM: Here’s a somewhat-closer look from David Hutchinson:

Here’s a Facebook page with on-the-ground info in the fire zone (tweeted by Lauren – @nwtripfinder).

ADDED LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Ted Johnson shared this view from the EC Hughes Playground area:

The latest highway closures are here.


  1. Over 2400acres burned so far raising rapidly

    Comment by cmc — 6:01 pm July 16, 2014 #

  2. We need Met Patrick for this one. I think it is a Pyrocumulus or Pyrocumulonimbus where the hot air from the fire generates the instability or uplift.

    Comment by JayDee — 6:19 pm July 16, 2014 #

  3. JayDee, you are correct. If it builds high enough it will become a pyrocumulonimbus. Either way, it doesn’t bode well for those on the ground, unless it generates some rain w/out lightning.

    I saw it while walking the dog and just thought it was an impressive thunderhead.

    Comment by CM — 6:39 pm July 16, 2014 #

  4. This is in fact a ” Pyrocumulus ”

    A Pyrocumulus cloud develops when you have VERY hot air in a single parcel is forced upward while on either side of the cloud you have cooler air that condenses and allows the cloud to develop. But like any updraft associated parcel of air there is a “Cap” and the cloud will rise until it hits the “Cap” and then flattens out.

    Hope that helps folks


    Comment by MetPatrick — 6:57 pm July 16, 2014 #

  5. Met Patrick:
    I am curious: the driest day of the year is 7/19 (i seem to recall). Looks like this could be in danger when we cool down tomorrow and the weekend. But next week looks anomalous: rain chance M/T? I think not but I cannot tell which model is the truth teller. I like my rain 10/15-2/15 and then showery…

    Comment by JayDee — 8:47 pm July 16, 2014 #

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