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).
Filmmaker Chris Tangey captured rare video footage, a still of which is seen here, of a "fire devil" in the Australian Outback. CREDIT: Chris Tangey via Youtube user stilltalkincrazy
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.
This week, rounds of snow, rain and ice pummeled areas from Oklahoma City to Boston, creating treacherous travel conditions and causing widespread power outages in the tens of thousands across the country.
After nearly 9 feet of snow this winter for the Boston area, many residents are trying to make the best of the snow-clogged conditions.
Heavy rain will soak the Gulf Coast and expand into the Southeast early this week, perhaps bringing isolated flooding but also helping to battle the drought.
As arctic air is held at bay next week, warmth will build from the West to the Central states, while the temperatures rebound to seasonable levels in the Northeast.
Interstate 64 was closed between Reidland and Cadiz, Kentucky, due to heavy snowfall. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear activated the Kentucky National Guard to assist stranded motorists.
An upcoming thaw will raise concerns for flooding and ice jams in parts of the Midwest and East through the middle of March.
Milton Exp. Station, FL (1954)
4" of snow, greatest 24 hour snowfall in state history, also greatest single storm total.
Pensacola, FL (1954)
2.1" of snow, greatest 24 hour snowfall in city's history, also greatest single storm total.
East Coast (1962)
Great Atlantic Coast Storm caused over $200 million damage from New England to Florida. Major shoreline erosion from Long Island to North Carolina from 40 foot waves, 70 mph winds. Deep snow piled up in Virginia Mountains. Big Meadows/Blue Ridge Mts. (6th-7th) had 42.0" of snow, greatest 24 hour snowfall.