Gas turbine engines are prone to the phenomenon of thermoacoustic instability, which is highly detrimental to their components. Recently, in turbulent combustors, it was observed that the transition to thermoacoustic instability occurs through an intermediate state, known as intermittency, where the system exhibits epochs of ordered behaviour, randomly appearing amidst disordered dynamics. We investigate the onset of intermittency and the ensuing self-organization in the reactive flow field, which, under certain conditions, could result in the transition to thermoacoustic instability. We characterize this transition from a state of disordered and incoherent dynamics to a state of ordered and coherent dynamics as pattern formation in the turbulent combustor, utilizing high-speed flame images representing the distribution of the local heat release rate fluctuations, flow field measurements (two-dimensional particle image velocimetry), unsteady pressure and global heat release rate signals. Separately, through planar Mie scattering images using oil droplets, the collective behaviour of small scale vortices interacting and resulting in the emergence of large scale coherent structures is illustrated. We show the emergence of spatial patterns using statistical tools used to study transitions in other pattern forming systems. In this paper, we propose that the intertwined and highly intricate interactions between the wide spatio-temporal scales in the flame, the flow and the acoustics are through pattern formation.