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Scene: Lake Devils

Photo by Miles Storey/Torontoist.

WHERE: The shore of Lake Ontario, shot from a car park just east of Ontario Place.
WHEN: 10:24 a.m. on January 23.
WHAT: When temperatures plunge this low—it’s currently –19°C (with a wind chill of –30°C)—bodies of water give off vapour, making the waterfront this morning a very otherworldly place. This effect is called “evaporation fog” or “sea smoke,” and occurs when extremely cold air moves over a warmer body of water. The accelerated evaporation of water into the air causes the moisture to re-condense as visible fog because the air becomes over-saturated. The fog is caught in the upward air currents and swirls into tendrils sometimes called “lake devils” that can reach the equivalent of several stories in height.