Hay Devil: vortex whips field into an amazing sight

Not CGI, but convection. Krista Mitchell at the BBC Weather Centre: "This rapidly rising air lifts dust, or straw, into the air. When conditions are right, the rising air will rotate."

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  1. This is called a "dust devil" down in Arizona. I've seen them reach 100's of feet up into the sky. Mesmerizing. As a kid it was also fun to let a balloon or even a piece of paper get caught up in one and watch it soar into the sky.

  2. We have a lot of these in Kansas as well and call them dust and water devils. Sometimes you can see 3-4 going in a field at the same time and as akahans said, they can reach very high and are mesmerizing. Here are a few examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_3-THzFjmk

  3. When I was in college, we used to see these things occasionally wandering around the prairie-dog fields on the edge of campus. They seemed to behave quite wilfully and occasionally even looked like they were playing pranks. I remember seeing one just sort of hovering there in the middle of a field for a couple of minutes, looking completely inoffensive before suddenly racing off a good hundred meters at well over 20 MPH to surround and seriously fluster a girl walking home from class. It really looked very deliberate because it stopped as soon as it got to her. Such is anthropomorphism.

    Never seem to see them on the east coast, though, at least nothing more than a tiny one created in a corner for a few seconds.

  4. I agree about the anthropomorphism. Often we see them seemingly move in deliberate ways to get to people or things and almost everyone talks about them as if they are animals not wind

  5. What we are seeing here is the further evolution of the energy that creates crop circles. It has made the leap to three dimensions, but it may take a few iterations before it can achieve a stable form. We are in for some surprises.

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