100-Foot "Firenado" in Australian Brushfire

September 26, 2012; 4:54 AM
Share |

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.

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • DC: No Signs of Lasting Warmth Just Yet

    April 24, 2014; 10:10 AM ET

    The weather pattern through this weekend will bring temperatures fairly typical for this time of the year around Washington, D.C.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A

WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Mathis, TX (1990)
A stationary thunderstorm dumped about 8" of rain in two hours at a grain elevator just west of town.

Caldwell, TX (1990)
13.4" of rain in the span of 3 hours.

Baltimore, MD (1991)
Hail 1-1/2" in diameter fell north of Baltimore City.