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WATCH: Incredible Dust Devil Spins up in California

16 Sep 2016, 2:04 pm

This stunning footage was captured on Tuesday in Fresno, CA.

A video posted by Annie Atlasman (@annienyhc) on

A well-developed dust whirl is a small but vigorous whirlwind, usually of short duration, rendered visible by dust, sand, and debris picked up from the ground according to the American Meteorological Society.

Dust devils are occasionally strong enough to cause minor damage (up to EF0 on the Enhanced Fujita scale). Diameters range from about 3 m to greater than 30 m; their average height is about 200 m, but a few have been observed as high as 1 km or more. They have been observed to rotate anticyclonically as well as cyclonically. Although the vertical velocity is predominantly upward, the flow along the axis of large dust devils may be downward. Large dust devils may also contain secondary vortices. Dust devils are best developed on a hot, calm afternoon with clear skies, in a dry region when intense surface heating causes a very steep lapse rate of temperature in the lowest 100 m of the atmosphere.

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