• Unusual weather phenomenon happens on Lake Eufaula

    By: Megan McClellan


    Quick Facts:

    • Happened on Lake Eufaula around 9 a.m. New Year's Day
    • Air temperatures at the time were around 8 degrees with water temperatures much warmer
    • The phenomenon is known as a Steam Devil

    Monday morning while temperatures were in the single digits and water temperatures were much warmer, FOX23 viewer John Rolan sent multiple pictures of rare sight.

    What FOX23 has learned is called a "Steam Devil" is generally quite rare. They are generally small, weak whirlwinds that draws fog, or steam, into a vortex. Once the fog or steam get into the vortex, it becomes visible and looks like a small dirt devil.

    Courtesy: John Rolan

    In order to get these steam devils, the air and water temperature much be different enough to cause steam. The warmer water heats the air just above it. Steam develops and as light winds are pulled into a rising column of air, it begins to spin (similar to an ice skater pulling their arms in to spin faster).

    Steam Devil observations are generally quite rare, but around the hot springs in Yellowstone, they can happen much more often.

    Be sure to check out the gallery above for a look at the photos sent in by John Rolan.

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