CHILLICOTHE, Mo. (KMOX) – Last year, it was all about “Sharknado.”
But in 2014, Missouri’s suddenly getting a lot of attention after playing host to a Firenado.
A quick-thinking photographer snapped a photo of the phenomenon, also known as a fire devil or fire whirl, last week in Chillicothe, Mo.
Now, the Today Show’s Al Roker is talking about it, and the photo’s spreading across the web like wildfire—so to speak.
Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteorologist with the St. Louis office of the National Weather Service, says fire tornadoes are spectacular to see but also very rare.
“It’s not like it’s a weird phenomenon, but I wouldn’t say we’re going to be seeing these all over the place,” Kramper tells KMOX News. “But yeah, they can happen.”
He says what usually happens is a large fire is fed by shifting surface-level winds, adding that they usually don’t last for more than a few seconds.
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