Dust devil

Type of whirlwind / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A dust devil (also known regionally as a dirt devil) is a strong, well-formed, and relatively short-lived whirlwind. Its size ranges from small (18 in/half a metre wide and a few yards/metres tall) to large (more than 30 ft/10 m wide and more than half a mile/1 km tall). The primary vertical motion is upward. Dust devils are usually harmless, but can on rare occasions grow large enough to pose a threat to both people and property.[1][2]

Quick facts: Dust devil, Area of occurrence, Season, Effec...
Dust devil
A dust devil in Arizona
Area of occurrencePrimarily temperate and tropical regions
SeasonMost common in summer
EffectDust and debris lofted into air, possibly wind damage

They are comparable to tornadoes in that both are a weather phenomenon involving a vertically oriented rotating column of wind. Most tornadoes are associated with a larger parent circulation, the mesocyclone on the back of a supercell thunderstorm. Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado.

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