Fire tornado


Chris Tangey took this intense image of a tornado sucking a brushfire into the sky near Alice Springs, Australia. From The Australian:

"There was no wind where we were, and yet you had this tornado," Tangey says.

For him, it sounded "like a fighter jet"; for (firefighter Ashley) Severin, it was like "standing behind a 747". "I've never seen anything like it. I just thought the ground was going to start trembling," Severin says. "The noise it was making, the speed, the red flames in the centre of it. It was like a kaleidoscope show."

"Alice dust devils pack a gullet full of flames"


  1. Sorry, not a tornado. Tornadoes/funnel clouds/waterspouts reach DOWN from the clouds. This is surface based like a huge dust devil. Just a LOT more dangerous.

  2. I guess, technically, this is a small-ish firestorm. A fire starts and the thermal updraft stokes the fire and this upward confluence builds. See also: The bombing of Dresden.

  3. I was burning a mattress in my backyard last year (insert “you might be a redneck” joke) when one of these suckers shot up taller than me.  doubly unexpected because the mattress wasn’t flaming, just smouldering, due no doubt to the fire-retardants.  then–WHOOSH!  the contrast between the sinking, “I’m fucked” feeling and the adrenalized “oh shit!” reaction was palpable.

    luckily, it quickly dissipated and then I was all “that was beautiful.  do it again!”

  4. I wish somebody would do new graphics for that part of The Ten Commandments. The rest of the movie is so great (visually) and that part is so cheesy. It looked like the Roadrunner was about to zip by Pharaoh’s chariot.

    1.  Wow!  It whirls much faster than I had imagined. 

      (as opposed to The Australian which is a Murdoch site and disables the back button by loading itself repeatedly trapping your browser) 

  5. Yep, pretty much everything here is working to kill you. The sky included – if it’s not fire, it’s skin cancer!

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