Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Frigid Funnel Clouds on Lake Champlain, Vermont

Today, we had a blast of Arctic air in Vermont. Temperatures fell through the single numbers toward nighttime lows well below zero
Steam rising from Lake Champlain
tries to form into a funnel
in frigid weather Wednesday

The cold air blew over the, relatively speaking, warm water of Lake Champlain, a lake still unfrozen due to what was a fairly warm winter up until now.

This kind of weather always creates interesting steam clouds, mist, swirls and whirls over the lake. Sometimes you even get waterspouts or steam devils  in this frigid air.

That sort of happened today, when brief funnel clouds spun up over the lake. These aren't dangerous, like spring or summertime tornadoes. First of all, nobody in their right mind would be out on the lake on a bitter day like this.

Cold air funnels or steam devils don't really have strong damaging winds in them, so they'd do little damage aside messing up your hair if they hit you. And cold air funnels almost never come ashore to cause any kind of land-based gusts

What the funnels do well, however, is make one stay on the shore of the lake and marvel at their beauty, even though the icy north wind is turning you into a giant popsicle.

A brief video I took today of the funnel, or funnel attempts, is below:

And here's another, slightly longer video I took, same scene. Camera was shaky due to a long lens, and you sometimes lose sight of the funnels, as it was hard to see what was most interesting while I was running the video camera:

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