What’s a firenado?

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What’s a firenado?

A forest fire makes its own weather by heating up the air and changing the wind patterns causing fire tornadoes.

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HOUSTON, TX – Hello science fans, you’ve seen a tornado but have you ever seen a firenado?

Jill Hasling who’s a meteorologist and President of the Weather Research Center says, “A forest fire makes its own weather by heating up the air and changing the wind patterns.”   Hasling adds fire whirls, fire tornadoes or fire-nados can be the result. “So what happens is you have warm air rising and it’ll get spinning around because it changes the winds so you have what they call fire whirls.”

This core of fire surrounded by oxygen can be up to 100 feet tall, last for an hour or more, and reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.

Although they’re not as spectacular, dust devils are created in a similar way.  “I’ve actually seen a snow tornado where wind has picked up the snow and swirled it around like a dust storm. So we have a “snorado” I guess you would call it” says Hasling.  That’s weird and very cool!

Coming up next week, a shrimp that “packs a punch” in more ways than one.

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