JONESBORO, Ark. — A spectacular moment caught on video shows a giant swirling dust devil that formed in Jonesboro, Ark., as people around it watched in awe as it swept across a flat piece of farmland.
Matt Conaster captured the moments when the people around it watched as, for minutes, the twisting column moved past him in a vehicle.
At one point, a person is seen running up to the dust devil as it was still strongly swirling dust and debris across the flat land, and appeared to weaken quickly.
The National Weather Service says dust devils are formed when a ground surface heats the air dramatically just above the ground. Usually, dust devils occur when the sky is clear, unlike tornadoes.
As air rises, it will cool and descend back through the center of the vortex. As hot air rises along the outer wall of the vortex, cooler air sinks as the vortex forms.
The dust devil will then move across the ground picking up debris, which allows its movement and shape to be seen.
Wind speeds in larger dust devils can reach 60 mph or more. Dust devils have been known to damage small structures or even destroy them, so they can be very dangerous.