Weather Wonders: Dust Devils

Weather Wonders: Dust Devils

This week's Weather Wonders comes to us from a 4th grade student in Grand Cane, asking how dust devils form.

To many dust devils looks like mini tornadoes. However, dust devils are formed during generally fair weather days, and not connected to a mesoscale convective system.

The sun heats the surface - forcing the air directly above it to rise.

This warm rising air begins to rotate in a cooler column of air above it.

As this rotating column of air rises higher it spins even faster, picking up dust and debris as it goes.

The combination of the grounds friction and spin propels the dust devil forward, and the warm ground continues to feed the dust devil on its path.

They are most often seen during the summer, and in the desert southwest - but dust devils have even been seen in Brooklyn, NY!

If you have any of your own Weather Wonders, make sure you let me know!

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