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Steam devil season begins - September 14
The first big overnight temperature drops of the meteorological fall season are here, which means it's time for "steam devils" as the cool morning air settles in over the still-warm waters in lakes, ponds and rivers. These small vortices are like tiny tornadoes as they spin over the open water. With our recent highs nearing 100°F, the sudden arrival of upper 40°F lows Saturday morning meant that the air/water temperature difference was going to be on the extreme side. However, this morning's steam devils weren't as impressive as I'd hoped. These small ones appeared on the lake along Highway 161 north of Mascoutah, Illinois (St. Clair County) this morning. (Click any image to view full screen)
Conditions will be favorable for these during the next one or two mornings, so keep an eye out for them right after sunrise.