Arctic blast led to rare weather phenomenon over a Vermont lake

 Friday, February 10, 2023 


The record-low temperatures chilled New England on Friday, is leading to a cold-weather phenomenon that’s rarely seen in the United States.

A handful of folks in Burlington, Vermont, caught sight of a funnel over Lake Champlain Friday afternoon, but this was no waterspout. The funnel instead drew in steam fog, also referred to as sea fog, creating what is referred to as a “steam devil.”

These foggy funnels occur during periods of cold weather much like the Arctic blast that New England recently experienced as temperatures in the region dropped below zero and hit record-breaking levels. In Burlington, where the lake is located, temperatures dropped as low as 14 degrees below zero on Friday, followed by a temperature reading of 15 degrees below zero by early Saturday.

While a steam devil can closely resemble a waterspout, the latter has deeper convection and will be spiraling down from a cloud. In comparison, steam devils rise upwards and aren’t attached to clouds.

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