A steam devil jet develops over Beaver Lake

How did this shape form in freezing weather?

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KNWA / KFTA) – Check Out This! In the freezing cold of January 6 during sub-freezing temperatures, a rare waterspout-like funnel formed over Beaver Lake near Shaddox Hollow, west of Coppermine Lodge. Doug Timmons, who sent us the video, said in his nearly 25 years of living on the lake, he’s never seen one this big before.

Shaddox Hollow on Beaver Lake (approximate location of the Great Steam Devil’s Beak)

So what was it and how did it form? Technically, it was not a waterspout, since it was not connected to a cumulus base. It is actually a very well developed steam hand truck, similar to a dust devil, but above water.

Formation of a dust devil

Steam Devils can be common in freezing cold over bodies of water, especially when the water temperature is much higher than the surface air temperature. Beaver Lake surface water temperature Thursday morning was 44 ° F and the air temperature was 19 ° F, a difference of 25 ° F. Combine this drastic temperature difference with gusty “swirling” winds from a weather system passing overhead and you’ve got a steam heck like this.

While steam devils are not that rare in late fall and early winter, this one lasted several minutes, hiked quite a bit from the main lake to the trough and was rather tall, stretching almost 300 feet in the air. It almost looked like a smaller waterspout, so we’ll call it a “Winter Steam Devil’s Beak”. Rather wild! Download our NWA Weather Authority app to send us more videos and photos.

Enjoy these additional steam demon videos from Storm Chaser and photojournalist Brian Emfinger.

https://fb.watch/anjDYIFHTT/ (amazing steam devils drone video)

Video of well-defined Steam Devils along the Arkansas River in Ozark, Arkansas and includes a short aerial drone video showing the appearance of Steam Devils from above and how they form and die.