Ever Seen a Dust Devil? A Perfect One Formed in Caribou, Maine
Dust devils are the wildest things and this Caribou one was a good one!
Do you know what a dust devil is? Growing up in central Idaho, it was hot and dry in the summer. Perfect conditions for dust devils. We had them all the time. I remember always trying to run to be in it. By the way, don't do that. It is definitely not recommended. Back to what they are. According to Wikipedia:
A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively short-lived whirlwind, ranging from small to large. The primary vertical motion is upward. Dust devils are usually harmless, but can on rare occasions grow large enough to pose a threat to both people and property.
I have never seen one since I moved to Maine almost 35 years ago. But recently Robert Grimm, a Meteorologist at WAGM, up in Presque Isle, posted one he got from a viewer.
He noted that the conditions were just right, with plenty of surface heating, clear skies, and light winds. Most are short-lived, although you still need to be careful because these little devils can pick up objects and then you've got flying debris.
I remember dust devils giving my dad such a hard time. They would form in his beloved garden and pop the tops right off of his tomato plants. He would cut gallon jugs and put them over his little plants. By the way, this garden we had when I was a kid was 100 x 100 feet and we had about 30 rows of tomato plants. These dust devils would put on quite a show. Have you ever seen one?