Dust Devils In Katy
August 10, 2011

Photo by: Jen Blackburn, Cinco Ranch

You don’t see to many of these in southeast Texas, but a dust devil formed in Katy.  You’ll usually see these in the desert southwest where it is hot and dry, but our weather has resembled more of a desert this year than the tropical climate we are used to.  Dust devils form on hot, dry days.  The surface of the ground is hot and that air is less dense than the “cooler” air around it, so it begins to rise.  Because of the uneven surface heating, it rises in bubbles.  Cooler air from above rushes to fill the voids left by the bubbles and causes a spin.  These are different from tornadoes because tornadoes form from the base of thunderstorm clouds and rotate toward the ground.  Dust devils are almost always weak, from a few miles per hour to 70 mph at the most, and rarely cause damage.   

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