Did you see the cloud that looked like a fire tornado over Casper this past weekend? There's only one small problem. There is no such thing.

This video was taken Sunday night, January 27 over Casper. It has been making the rounds on social media and was shared on YouTube with this following description:

I noticed a pinkish golden glow outside and when I opened my front door I was surprised to see this awesome cloud formation! It looked like it was coming up from the ground, wind blowing. It lasted only minutes then dissipated. I was in awe and wanted to share with others. Since then, it has been brought to my attention that it’s called a fire tornado cloud! It certainly fits the name!

The truth is there is no such thing as a fire tornado cloud. There is a fire whirl which is also known as a fire tornado. But, that's not what this is. A fire tornado is a whirlwind that is caused by an actual fire, as you can see in its Wikipedia definition. For the record, this is what a fire tornado looks like.

The cloud in this video, while impressive, is just a cloud that happens to be reflecting the sunshine Sunday night over Casper. It's a cool video and an interesting formation, but at the end of the day it's just a cloud. My meteorologist wife told me that it could have been a shelf cloud or a formation caused by the cold front that went through the area. No doubt it was mighty pretty whichever it was.

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