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A 'tornado' in Kelowna is actually a swirl of steam

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Jan13,2024

A «tornado »

This tornado in Kelowna is actually a whirlwind of steam.


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Residents of Kelowna, British Columbia, were able to see what looked like a mini-tornado over Okanagan Lake Friday morning or at least witness a swirl of steam, according to Environment Canada.

This phenomenon is caused when a mass of frigid air, with a temperature below -20°C, blows over above a body of relatively warmer water, says the World Meteorological Organization website.

Kayla Pickles and her daughter Lizzie watched him move slowly across the water for about 20 minutes around 10:30 a.m.

We “We thought it was a mini-tornado,” said Kayla Pickles, who has lived in Kelowna for seven years. I've never seen anything like it, she adds. Ellie Thornhill, who filmed a short video of the steam swirl said she watched it move south until it slowly disappeared.

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I thought it was a tornado, she says. It was huge.

Alyssa Carbonneau, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, explains that after a warm December, the sudden surge of arctic air that settled over the interior of British Columbia really made conditions conducive to interesting weather phenomena.

In the case of Kelowna, relatively warmer water from Okanagan Lake coming into contact with temperatures of -23°C contributed to the formation of the steam swirl.

With the pressure gradient differences, it can begin to rotate and elongate in this rotating column of air.

According to the meteorologist, steam swirls are similar to water jets, but they tend to be weaker and not rise as high into the atmosphere . Although they do not present a risk of damage, people who are on the water at the same time are advised not to approach them.

It looks like the dust swirls you see on land rather than a tornado which is caused by a thunderstorm violent, and which tends to be associated with much stronger winds.

With information from Andrew Kurjata< /p>

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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