Check out this cool phenomenon that a Missouri woman witnessed on May 4:
Janea Copelin posted the image to Instagram saying that she snapped the photo after she pulled over to watch a farmer burning off his field. But soon the winds whipped up, creating this “firenado.”
Though it may seem like something nightmares are made of, a firenado is a real natural phenomenon.
A firenado, or fire whirl, is borne of the same ingredients as a tornado, more or less (putting aside the severe storms needed to produce tornadoes). Hot air at the base of the fire rises quickly through a cooler pocket of air, whipping up a vortex, or a swirling column of air. Unlike true tornadoes, a fire whirl begins on the ground.
There is also a difference between a fire whirl and an actual fire tornado.
A fire tornado, or pyro-tornadogenesis, is an actual tornado created by a fire conditions. It was first confirmed by researchers in Australia in 2012 using data from a fire in 2003.
© Shaw Media, 2014