Have You Ever Seen A Rare Snownado In Casper?
It's a rare sight and only a few have ever been caught on video. Which seems odd to me, considering the wind is always blowing in Wyoming.
The 'Snownado' / Snow Devil is the cousin to the 'Dust Devil' that you'll commonly see during the summer months across Wyoming.
Wyoming ranks 25th in the country for tornadoes every year and are actually a rare sight, with only an average of 12 tornadoes per year. Tornado season is normally during the summer months, with the heaviest chance being late summer.
Dust Devils, on the other hand, will happen all the time in Wyoming. Because of the nearly constant wind, a pocket of hot air near the ground will rise quickly through the cooler air above it forming an updraft.
According to The Weather Network, the Snownado or Snow Devil, form the same as a Dust Devil in the summer. Swirling cold air will pass over a warmer surface and creates an updraft that can begin to rotate. As the air rises and swirls, it begins to collect the snow, thus causing the formation of a snow tornado.
Even though Snow Devils are called Snownadoes, they are typically just light columns of snow and don't cause any harm. Actual Snow Tornadoes, are winter tornadoes that are often accompanied by heavy snow and normally found only in the Midwest or Southern U.S. states.
Weather experts say the Snownaoes / Snow Devils aren't dangerous themselves, but could pick up debris that could be harmful to those in it's path.
During our recent snowfall here in Casper, I was driving down the Oakcrest street next to the Casper Muni Golf Course. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing around the freshly fallen snow, when a Snownado / Snow Devil came across the golf course.