Meteorologist gets caught inside dust devil in Arizona: video
A dust devil surprised an Arizona weatherman while he was fishing near Silverbell Lake in Tucson. Tyler Maio filmed the moment the wide cyclone of dust rapidly began to swirl before it made a beeline right for him. In the video, people nearby can be seen trying to get out of the way while Maio yelled, “Oh my God!” as the dust devil enveloped him within seconds. He was left covered head to toe in dust and had to rinse his eyes with a bottle of water. Despite experiencing rain and thunderstorms before, Maio described the dust devil as “very intense and pretty crazy.”
According to the National Weather Service, dust devils are smaller and less intense than tornadoes. They are visible vortices of swirling dust and debris, which typically occur on sunny and hot days with light winds. The ground becomes extremely hot causing vast differences in temperature within a few hundred feet, and the heated air will then shoot upward with surface winds, typically low speed, providing fuel for the vortex. While dust devils usually only last a few minutes and rarely cause significant damage, people who find themselves in one are recommended to get low to the ground and cover their face.
Last month, a youth baseball player found himself in the middle of a dust devil that formed over home plate while he was up to bat. Quick-thinking teenage umpire, pulled the 7-year-old boy out of the cyclone. Although there is no way to predict when a dust devil may form, it is important to be vigilant and stay safe in such conditions.
What is a dust devil?
A dust devil is a visible vortex of swirling dust and debris, typically smaller and less intense than a tornado.
When do dust devils occur?
Dust devils usually form on sunny and hot days with light winds.
Are dust devils dangerous?
Although dust devils rarely cause significant damage, it is important to get low to the ground and cover your face if you find yourself in one.
Can dust devils be predicted?
There is currently no way to predict when a dust devil may form.
Video captures Meteorologist trapped in Arizona dust devil
Arizona meteorologist Tyler Maio experienced a hair-raising moment when a dust devil formed nearby and quickly made its way towards him. Maio, who was fishing near Silverbell Lake in Tucson, captured the intense event on video and shared it with Fox Weather. In the footage, a wide cyclone of dirt and dust can be seen rapidly swirling before heading directly towards Maio as he filmed. People nearby attempted to get out of its way. “Oh my God!” exclaimed Maio as the dust devil engulfed him within seconds, covering him head to toe in dust. He was forced to rinse out his eyes with water. His fishing rod remained in place, but his chair was tossed about 20 feet. “It was just wild,” Maio said. “As a meteorologist myself, I’ve experienced thunderstorms, rain. I have never experienced something like that. That was very intense and pretty crazy.” According to Fox Weather senior meteorologist Scott Sistek, sunny, hot days with light winds create prime conditions for dust devils to form. Although they typically last just a few minutes and do not cause damage, Mao suggested anyone who finds themselves in one should get low to the ground and cover their face.