A lake tornado swirls over Okanagan Lake near Fintry, as seen from Okanagan Centre in Lake Country. (Shannon Chubb photo)

A lake tornado swirls over Okanagan Lake near Fintry, as seen from Okanagan Centre in Lake Country. (Shannon Chubb photo)

‘Tornado’ touches down on Okanagan Lake

Residents capture photos of steam devil near Fintry

Some North Okanagan residents were wide-eyed in awe as they looked out over Okanagan Lake Friday, Feb. 12.

What appeared to be a tornado formed over the lake, near Fintry Friday morning.

“While I was eating breakfast I saw it,” Shannon Chubb said. “I’m not sure how it was formed but it travelled for awhile actually.”

Chubb saw the long funnel from the living room window of her Okanagan Centre home, looking across the lake.

She wasn’t the only one to see or capture a photo of the ‘lake tornado.’

“It was so cool! Myself and the car in front of me had to pull over for it,” Tiffany Dorion said.

The weather phenomenon was also observed by Joanne Croom, who caught two on camera. But according to Croom, it is not a tornado, but evaporation fog on the lake.

Meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal with the Weather Network says they are in fact steam devils.

“They happen over the Great Lakes when we get some of the coldest air of the season almost every year,” Whittal said.

“We’re getting a very cold Arctic outbreak right now and it’s all to do with the difference in water temperature in the air above,” said Whittal, noting that the devils appear over the Great Lakes during cold spells too.

“This triggers convection…steam can form right above the water (as you can see in the picture) rising air from the warm lake water can also create some wind shear and that steam can be drawn into a vortex. This vortex displays this magnificent phenomenon the steam devil.”

READ MORE: Weather Network meteorologist chases stories from Vernon home

READ MORE: Warming bus gets Vernon’s homeless out of the cold


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

TornadoWeather

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

A tornado touched down on Okanagan Lake, near Fintry, as pictured from Lake Country Friday, Feb. 12. (Tiffany Dorion photo)

A tornado touched down on Okanagan Lake, near Fintry, as pictured from Lake Country Friday, Feb. 12. (Tiffany Dorion photo)

Two lake tornados form over Okanagan Lake Friday, Feb. 12. (Joanne Croom photo)

Two lake tornados form over Okanagan Lake Friday, Feb. 12. (Joanne Croom photo)

Just Posted

(Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Potential COVID-19 exposure on March 1 Penticton flight

Interior Health lists a public exposure for the Pacific Air Flight from Vancouver on March 1

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is offering home compost bins at reduced prices until March 25. (Contributed)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen offers compost bins at wholesale costs

Pricing offer at participating stores in place until March 25

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

A Coldstream resident who found an owl struggling on her property in March 2021 is now spreading awareness of about the knock-on effects of rodent poisoning. (Kathy Renaud photo)
Okanagan owl ‘fighting for her life’ after ingesting rat poison

Coldstream resident warns against the use of rodenticide due to risk of secondary poisoning in raptors

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Fire ripped through a mobile home on Boucherie Road in West Kelowna on March. 6. (Phil McLachlan - West Kelowna News)
‘My whole life just went up in smoke’; Fire consumes Okanagan mobile home

RCMP confirmed that there were no injuries due to the fire

Most Read