Lucky skiers at a popular skiing destination in Colorado witnessed a rare weather phenomenon brought on by frigid temperatures, a TikTok video shows.
The skiers and snowboarders watch in awe as what looks like a tornado of snow barrels across the slope at the Breckenridge Ski Resort and then seems to whirl right toward them, the Jan. 14 video shows.
“Is that a Snownado?” someone asked in the comments on the video.
The twister is actually a snow devil, which is defined as “a column of fine snow blown upward from a surface by the wind,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
Snow devils look similar to much more commonly seen dirt devils.
Snow devils are a “very rare phenomenon” that may appear “when surface wind shear acts to generate a vortex over snow cover, resulting in a whirling column of snow particles being raised from the ground,” according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Though the vortex may look menacing, snow devils are usually quite harmless.
“It’s a snow devil! Not dangerous just crazy looking,” someone commented on the video.
Others agreed, but cautioned against getting caught in the vortex intentionally.
“Just don’t stand in one, the pelting of snow or dust on the skin doesn’t feel good,” someone said.