Steam Devils

Steam devil season is underway. In late summer-early fall when waters are still warm but morning air is growing cold, little tornadoes of steam are often seen dancing across lake surfaces.

Iowa photographer Mike Hollingshead caught this one at sunrise on August 29th.

Steam devils appear when vapor released by a warm lake condenses rapidly in cooler air above. Light winds spin condensing plumes of steam into dancing columns. The bigger the lake, the bigger the devils.

Steam devils on Lake Superior have been observed to rise 1500 ft tall!




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