The cause of natural fires in the Ryazan region was a dry thunderstorm. This was announced by deputy chairman of the government of the region Dmitry Filippov.
In total, there were five hotbeds of natural fires in the region. 1705 tons of water were dumped to extinguish fires. In just two days of extinguishing the fire, the helicopters of the Moscow Aviation Center carried out 300 discharges and dropped 2,160 tons of extinguishing liquid onto the fire.
What is a dry thunderstorm?
Dry Thunderstorm — this is exactly the same thunderstorm with thunder and lightning, but without rain or with minimal precipitation. Meteorologists call this phenomenon virga, or “ghost rain”.
A dry thunderstorm occurs in cumulonimbus clouds at high temperatures (above 30 °C) and low relative humidity (usually less than 30 – 40 %). At this time, the air is so hot that moisture does not reach the surface of the earth, but evaporates in the atmosphere.
To date, the increase in the number of dry thunderstorms is directly related to global warming. Scientists from the University of California at Berkeley have calculated that adding one degree of average annual temperature leads to an increase in the number of thunderstorms by 12%.
What is the danger of dry thunderstorms?
Dry thunderstorms are often called “killers” ; forests on the planet. The strong wind accompanying a thunderstorm contributes to the rapid uncontrolled spread of fire. For example, a dry thunderstorm caused the largest forest fire in Portugal in 2017 and forest fires in Siberia in 2019.
In an urban environment, a dry thunderstorm is less dangerous than a normal thunderstorm because it does not add water flows that adversely affect urban infrastructure.
Can dry thunderstorms be prevented?
No, it is impossible to stop an approaching dry thunderstorm, but it can be predicted. Meteorologists have implemented models that allow forecasting dry thunderstorms three to eight days in advance.
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