Dust Devil conditions?

Discussion in 'General Weather Discussion' started by samuel557, Jun 7, 2018.

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  1. samuel557

    samuel557 Member

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    Hello everybody, this is my first thread here and my question is what are the best conditions to view dust devils? I have noticed that some days they are very plentiful and then on others there are next to none. The one thing that I have noticed is that on days there are dust devils the sun is very direct but on the other hand there have been many days where the sun is out all day and I see no dust devils. I would just like to see your insights on this matter and wee what you have observed in the past. Thanks in advance!

    -Samuel
     
  2. WesL

    WesL Administrator
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    Welcome to TalkWeather @samuel557!

    I've only seen a handful of what I would call true dust devils but they have all been on flat land, in my case farms with loose soil that is easily kicked up as the vortex grows and moves. I do remember as a child noting that I've only seen them on days when the air was stale (not moving/lack of wind). Anyone else ever observe these type of conditions?

    I will say the biggest I've seen was on a roadtrip from California to Las Vegas. I was like 13 or so and we counted 4 of them but the last one was massively tall but spun out really quick.
     
  3. samuel557

    samuel557 Member

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    Cool thanks! I live close to a lot of farming land and when its plowed it is easy to see them and I know what you mean by the air being stale, that is also when I have seen the biggest ones.
     
  4. Lori

    Lori Administrator
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    Dust devil's love droughts!!


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  5. Equus

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    I have tried to mentally log each day I see numerous dust devils to see if I can figure out the perfect conditions for them to occur here, but success is a bit limited. Best I can tell, at least around here, agrees with the general formation idea for them I have always heard; days with significantly warmer surfaces than air, usually when the wind is lighter to prevent temperatures from mixing well, but I have seen significant dust devils at construction sites in pretty high winds - they race up and down hills like tiny tornadoes. Fascinating stuff.
     

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