BRITISH COLUMBIA

Cool Mini Tornadoes Of Steam Spin On Lake Okanagan (VIDEO)

12/04/2014 03:35 EST | Updated 12/04/2014 03:59 EST

Kelowna’s chilly winter air and the relatively warm waters of Lake Okanagan came together last week to put on a frosty show.

A cool YouTube video posted by KelownaVenues shows mini tornadoes of steam spinning off the lake’s surface to join a large steam cloud that formed in the sky, creating a ghostly effect.

The phenomenon, known as Arctic Sea Smoke, only happens when perfectly frosty air meets the slightly warmer air rising off the lake’s surface, explained Environment Canada meteorologist Jennifer Hay.

"As the water (on the lake) is condensing and evaporating and moving up into the air and cooling, it swirls around," she told Castanet. "It is unstable, and as air lifts it starts to spin, so you get a little bit of plume coming off the surface."

Check out the dancing "mini twister" at the 0:30 mark.

The video was uploaded on Nov. 30, when temperatures in Kelowna dipped to -18 C.

Here's another video of the same phenomenon taken in Montana last year:

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