Fiery Dust Devil in Colorado - Tucson News Now

Fiery Dust Devil in Colorado

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Amazing footage of a fiery dust devil has gone viral.  It was captured by a fire fighter at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Colorado, during a controlled burn exercise.  A dust devil quickly developed and intensified, sending smoke and tumble weeds everywhere.

The burn was going smoothly at first, but things quickly turned dangerous after the dust devil developed.

This unique phenomena usually happens on sunny days with light winds.  The Suns shortwave radiation heats up the air near the surface which eventually rises through cooler air above it.  As the air rises, hot air from the ground moves in to replace it.  The hot air rises and is vertically stretched, intensifying the rotation and creating a dust devil (like a figure skater bringing his/her arms in to spin faster).  The air at the top cools and falls around the funnel, which is what keeps it stable.

These are usually harmless, but this one certainly made for a crazy video around a fire.

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