Blog reader Daniel V. pointed out this recently uploaded video from Buryatia, Russia, purporting to show the elusive "snow tornado."
Since cold temperatures typically don't support supercell thunderstorm development, which could spawn a true tornado, I suspect that this is a "cold-air vortex" or an extremely large snow devil (something I have witnessed before, both from ground "tracks" and actual videos, see an example below). Snow devils (in my experience) are generally 5-15 feet high; the event in Russia is on a much larger scale. I suppose it's possible that it was formed in a similar way to waterspouts, which are formed because of temperature differences between the ground and the cloud.
In related news, something I wouldn't have believed if I saw it. AccuWeather.com's Jim Andrews did a fascinating blog about how a legitimate EF-3 tornado, produced by a fire, has been confirmed in Australia (as opposed to a "fire whirl" which you can see in the video below).
Fire whirls, often called "fire tornadoes" form like waterspouts, because of temperature differences between the ground and smoke cloud. The 2003 Canberra tornado was apparently anchored to a parent "pyrocumulonimbus" cloud, which essentially was a super cell thunderstorm. This is something we have not seen before. For obvious reasons, there is no video footage of the Canberra tornado, but the footage below is from the same fire and contains remarkable footage driving through it:
In my latest gadget test, I recorded the same scene with six different 1080p HD Action Cams and compared their features.
The coldest air of the winter will hit this weekend, threatening record lows and 50 below zero AccuWeather RealFeel temperatures.
The Blizzard of 2016 had many similarities to the Blizzard of 1996. Will there be a similar flood?
The Blizzard of 2016 flooded coastal communities and piled up over 40 inches of snow, with incredible drifts. Here are the stats.
The Blizzard of 2016 has begun. Here are some historical and model maps.
The NCEP SREF snow plumes are in; now the snow-forecasting fun begins.