Impressive weather phenomenon: dust devils observed this Saturday in Belgium (video)

Marcelino and Tifany filmed impressive scenes this Saturday afternoon in which they identified what they call “mini tornadoes” in Saint-Georges-sur-Meuse (province of Liège) and Ligny (province of Namur).

Information taken from our meteorologist David Dehenauw, it is not strictly speaking a tornado, but a “dust devil”, or dust devil. “I received sightings of the same phenomenon at a few places in West Flanders yesterday afternoon”he says.

The website of the Royal Institute of Meteorology (IRM) teaches us what dust devils or dust devils are: “They are the smallest members of the family of isolated atmospheric vortex phenomena. They differ from classic tornadoes by their formation in serene skies. Many of them go unnoticed because they only become visible when they drag matter with them. Their lifespan does not exceed a few minutes. The damage caused is very limited but they can still move garden furniture or light objects over short distances. Dust devils occur especially in early summer in our country“.

How do they form?

In Belgium, dust devils form especially when it is very hot. “You really have to meet two conditions. On the one hand, you need an overheated surface, such as a field of wheat that has just been harvested, or a parking lot. And right next to it, you need a forest, a colder area. The temperature difference between the two areas will cause a fairly strong current of air, which will materialize as a whirlwind“, specifies Sébastien Doutreloup, climatologist from the University of Liège.

Much less dangerous than a tornado

Can this type of phenomenon be dangerous? Sébastien Doutreloup answers us. “I think they could be dangerous in the sense that you could have things come into your eye, but it’s still much less dangerous than a tornado, which is much more violent“, explains the climatologist.

These dust devils are common in the United States, such as this “dust evil” observed in Scottsdale.

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