View of a dust devil or willy-willy

View of a dust devil or willy-willy

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Credit: GORDON GARRADD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: A dust devil or willy-willy. The photograph shows the view from the base of the vortex, looking up towards the top. A dust devil is a harmless, miniature tornado, only a few metres in diameter, but up to 3000 feet (900 metres) in height. Dust is picked up at ground level, swept round & round the centre, and eventually carried to the top of the vortex. Dust devils occur in arid regions where excessive local heating by the sun causes strong convection currents. They usually move over the desert at speeds of 5-15 miles per hour (8-24 km/hour), although speeds of 30 miles per hour (48 km/hour) are known.

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Keywords: climate, dust devil, extreme, meteorology, severe storm, storms, vortex, weather, willy-willy

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