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Devil(s) went down to Okanagan Lake

Steam devils - twister-like formations - scooted down the west side of the lake Monday, Dec. 27
Lake Country’s Kevin Blakely took these photos of twister-like formations called ‘steam devils’ from his home Monday, Dec. 27. The formations were travelling west along Okanagan Lake. (Kevin Blakely photos)

A devil of a time was being had on the west side of Okanagan Lake in Lake Country and Vernon Monday morning, Dec. 27.

Steam devils – a formation that resembles a tornado cloud – could be seen travelling down the lake.

Kevin Blakely took a collage of four shots from his Lake Country home.

“It’s so amazing watching these form and cruise down the lake,” said Blakely.

Weather Network meteorologist Jaclyn Whittal, who lives in Okanagan Landing, also caught a view of the steam devils.

In an interview with the Morning Star in February of 2021, Whittal explained the phenomenon which had appeared along the lake.

“They happen over the Great Lakes when we get some of the coldest air of the season almost every year,” Whittal said. Temperatures in the Okanagan Monday morning were in the Minus 25 degrees Celsius range.

“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. This triggers convection…steam can form right above the water. 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.”

Temperatures in the Okanagan are expected to be at about Minus 18 C through Tuesday, then warms up to Minus 9 C on Wednesday.

READ MORE: ‘Tornado’ touches down on Okanagan Lake

READ MORE: Colourful frozen waterfall mysteriously returns on Highway 3A, near Penticton

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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