Students in Hibbing ‘experience’ a Dust Devil

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Kids at Greenhaven Elementary in Hibbing got quite the surprise Thursday when out of nowhere, dirt and dust began whipping around them. Pam Rooney recorded the whole scene as the kids chased the “action” for two blocks. Thankfully, Pam shared the video with WDIO too.

You can hear the kids yelling, “Tornado! Tornado!” But this phenomenon is not a tornado. It is a dust devil.

Storm Track Meteorologist Brandon Weatherz explained Dust Devils in his August 17, 2022 Weatherz School. Dust devils typically form on clear, hot and dry afternoons. They begin with the sun heating the ground. Low pressure forms from rising air and as the air rushes in to fill the low, the circulation increases. The process is self-sustaining.

Dirt gets picked up and makes the rapidly rotating column of air visible. Without the dirt, our dust devil is a whirlwind.

The remarkable display never lasts long as cooler air gets wrapped into it, and the temperature difference balances out. Then the circulation dies.

Brandon was very impressed with how long Thursday’s lasted.