Dust devil danced in Islamabad!

Dust devil in Islamabad in 2008

Dust devils are common in every part of the world, dust devils are like tornadoes but dust devils form on a bright sunny and hot day unlike a tornado which form on a stormy day with severe thunderstorms. Tornadoes are rare in Pakistan however dust devil are common in the country they form in any part of the country but require hot surface. On May 7, 2008, a dust devil was formed in Islamabad that was caught on tape, which you can see here. Though many Pakistanis thought that it was a tornado (Twister) in fact its a common dust devil.

Difference between tornado and dust devil

Dust devils are basically way smaller than tornadoes. They don’t cause any damage, except swirl dust around. They are common during the spring and summer due to warm winds. The average speed of dust devil is 40 mph while tornadoes can have winds greater than 300 mph. Tornadoes form due to super cell, which is a rotating powerful thunderstorm. In both of these weather system the air rotates around them in circular motion.

Intensity of Dust devil

Formation of Dust devil

Dust devils are small and weak, often less than 3 feet in diameter with maximum winds averaging about 45 mph, and they often dissipate less than a minute after forming.

On extremely rare occasions, a dust devil can grow very large and intense, sometimes reaching a diameter of up to 300 feet with winds in greater than 60 mph and can last for upwards of 20 minutes before dissipating. In the Arizona state of the United States, many rare powerful dust devils have formed that killed many people these dust devils had winds greater than 75 mph.

Dust devil-like other phenomenons

There are many related phenomenons like Gustnado, landspout, steam devil etc but the common ones are listed below;

  • Tornado (Twister) is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud.
  • Waterspout is a weak when compared to tornado. It is also a rotating column of air that is in contact with both the body of water (usually sea) and a cumuliform cloud.
  • Fire devil or fire tornado is a rare phenomena in which the fire caused by wildfires start rotating like tornado.

Devils of Mars

Dust devils - Mars and Earths

Humans first discovered dust devils in 1970s on Mars. The dust devils on Mars are way much stronger and bigger and more deadlier than the devils on Earth.

Most of the land of Mars is sand and dust that helps fuel a big dust devil with winds greater than 100 mph.

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