What Is A Dust Devil?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - If you've ever driven in Eastern Washington on a warm, sunny day, and noticed what look like little tornadoes dancing around in the fields, those are known as dust devils.

Most commonly seen in flat, dry areas dust devils are like "mini tornadoes", only they're harmless. They're caused when you have hot air suddenly rising from warm ground. As this air rises, it can sometimes create a little vortex of swirling air, which can pick up nearby dust and dirt, giving it a brown tornado-like appearance.

Yet, unlike tornadoes, dust devils form from the ground up and its winds rarely reach over 30-60 mph, so they aren't damaging. However, if you get caught in one, you'll likely get a mouth and nose-full of dust.

Your Photos

YouNews Sunset in Edmonds Sunset in Edmonds
Great night for a sunset in Edmonds at appropriately Sunset Avenue.
YouNews Saturn and the Moon (closeup) Saturn and the Moon (closeup)
These images were taken Wednesday night with a Meade LX6 10-inch Schmidt–Cassegrain telescope and a ZWOASI120MC video camera. Each image is a stack of approximately 200 of the best images from the videos.