Nature's not much for subtlety. Just ask Chris Tangey, the man who watched in awe as a 100-foot-high (30-meter-high) whirlwind of fire tore around a patch of Australian Outback on Tuesday (Sept. 11).
Tangey, a filmmaker, managed to capture some very rare footage of the startling phenomenon while out scouting locations near Alice Springs, Australia, according to The Australian.
One term for the event he recorded, a fire tornado, is a misnomer, according to Mark Wysocki, New York's state climatologist and a professor of atmospheric sciences at Cornell University. The columns of spinning fire are much more similar to dust devils than tornadoes, Wysocki said.
"I would just call them fire vortices but that doesn't sound so sexy to the public, so I would call them fire devils," he told Life's Little Mysteries.
See the video live here.
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Prior to midweek, severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, downpours and hail will threaten areas from Indiana to Texas.
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Following rain and snow in the Northwest on Sunday, another storm will take aim at California and the Southwest Monday into Tuesday.
A potent line of thunderstorms will sweep across the Northeast into Saturday night with damaging winds, hail and downpours.
Soaking rain and locally severe thunderstorms will take aim at the eastern United States around the middle of the week.
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After record-shattering warmth baked the mid-Atlantic and Northeast to end the past week, much colder air will settle over the region on Sunday.
A widespread outbreak of severe weather is threatening a large portion of the Midwest.