Why So Many Dirt Devil Sightings In ND Lately?

The rain may not be welcome for some, but for others, it’s like Christmas morning. 

We’ve gotten several photos and even video of dust devils recently. Some folks thought they were seeing tornadoes but they’re actually dust devils. They’re most prominent in the drier spots of the state. 

The drought monitor shows just how abnormally dry parts of northern ND are. They’re around an inch an a half below average in rain for the month and around 3″ below average for the year. 

We often think dust devils form in dry and arid climates like the desert. They’re more prominent there. But they can happen here when it gets very dry. 

The Sun heats the dry ground. This makes the air closer to the ground much hotter than just above it. That hot air rises. This forms low pressure along the ground which creates a natural spinning motion. 
It then picks up dirt and debris and the column of air stretches. This is where you see the dust devil. 

They can be 3 ft to 100 ft wide, last for a few minutes, they can even be in groups. And the average wind speed is around 45 mph. 
 

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