Check out this image of a fire tornado that Instagram user Janae Copelin captured near Chillicothe, Mo, about a mile north of 190 Highway on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
These fire tornados can form when intense heat combines with high winds. It’s actually the grass fire that is causing the “tornado”. It’s actually called a thermal. Hot air is buoyant, so it rises rapidly; air rushes in from outside to replace it, and it swirls just like the water in a toilet — except it’s going up instead of down.