VIDEO: Dust Devil Spins in Central Maui Field
A “dust devil” in Central Maui on Friday afternoon had some taken by surprise as they witnessed the swirling column in a field off of the Maui Veterans Highway.
The incident was reported at around 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019 in an old sugar cane field.
Witnesses who alerted Maui Now to the incident called the phenomenon a “rare encounter, pretty awesome and a bit scary.”
The National Weather Service defines a dust devil as a “small, rapidly rotating wind that is made visible by the dust, dirt or debris it picks up. Also called a whirlwind, it develops best on clear, dry, hot afternoons.”
Dust devils have been known to happen on Maui. This column was touching the ground, unlike funnel clouds, which have been known to occur in the islands as well.
According to the NWS, “A condensation funnel is a tornado, not a funnel cloud, if either a) it is in contact with the ground or b) a debris cloud or dust whirl is visible beneath it.”
The dust devil also was not connected to a cloud, as is the case with a tornado, which is “usually pendant to a cumulonimbus, with circulation reaching the ground.”
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