The third grade class from Avoca Central School was featured in this week’s Weather Wisdom. Ethan asked, “How does a dust devil form?”
Dust devils resemble a tornado, but come together under different ingredients. For a dust devil, you need strong surface heating over a flat surface, under a clear sky with light winds.
Although uncommon in our area, they would be more likely to occur in the spring and in the fall when you still have a cooler atmosphere. Once the ground becomes hot enough, a small pocket of air quickly rises up through the cooler air. This pocket of air begins to rotate, stretching up into the air and increasing in speed. We then see the dust devil begin to move across the ground, picking up dust or dirt as it does so.