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Dust devil picks up 70lb lab in Weyers Cave

Published: May. 12, 2021 at 9:11 PM EDT|Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 4:28 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Check out this video sent to us from Brittnay Wampler.

This was taken from a neighbors doorbell camera on Tuesday afternoon in Weyers Cave. If you look close where the flag is blowing, behind the truck you’ll see something fuzzy and then the dog gets lofted briefly in the air. The dog is okay thankfully.

The dog, Duke is a 70 pound lab. The fuzzy area, is a dust devil. This is a very small whirlwind that can form on dry days so it’s a spinning column of air. Unlike a tornado, a dust devil is not attached to a cloud and are typically very weak.

The National Weather Service in Sterling agrees this looks like a dust devil.

As of Thursday, we have another video of a dust devil sent in from Brooke Pennybacker. No dogs were involved in this dust devil.

Several years ago one was reported in Grottoes in which it picked up and scattered some lawn furniture.

This is a photo of a dust devil from Stanley, Virginia that was sent to WHSV in September of 2017. This one is much more defined and quite tall. Also around the same time in 2017, a dust devil was spotted in Harrisonburg where the Aldi store was being built.

From Stanley, September 2017
From Stanley, September 2017(whsv)

These can form under just the right conditions. Typically with sunshine and rather calm winds. It doesn’t always have to be a warm day but air near the ground heats up, and starts to rise- forming an updraft. Surrounding air rushes in to fill the void left by the rising air and on occasion, it can start to spin to form a dust devil.

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