VIRAL VIDEO: Watch a firenado become a waterspout
Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 3:29 PM - A brush fire erupted along the Arizona side of the Colorado river Saturday, and a couple driving past managed to capture it on film.
This wasn't your typical brush fire. The presence of hot, dry and fast-rising air created enough energy to cause the fire to start spinning, morphing into a spectacular firenado.
The winds then pushed the firenado into the water where it transformed into a waterspout.
Chris Mackie and Anne Mackie's video of the rare phenomenon is a viral hit, racking up more than 3 million views since the weekend.
The brush fire was related to the Mohave fire, which burned through more than 370 hectares of land.
It was 80 per cent contained as of Monday.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND FIRENADOES
Tornadoes and firenadoes both spin but their energy sources are different, explains Weather Network science writer Scott Sutherland.
Tornadoes, he says, get their energy from a storm cloud above, while firenado pick up energy from fire below.
According to Sutherland, fire whirls can be smaller in nature but they can also strengthen to an EF2 or EF3 tornado.