Chile: Dust devil during clear and sunny weather

A Chilean driver filmed an interesting video of a swirling dust devil in Los Angeles, Chile, on 18 November 2020.

All story has occurred during almost absolutely clear and sunny, but windy weather in country, which dispose by almost all climates, from mountainous and cold moderate to desert or rainforest.

A video, shot by Rodrigo Melivilu (source:, shows the high, dusty whirlwind were stretching from the skies up to ground.

Chilean weather watcher on Twitter said, that the dust devil appeared near the same area that was hit by a tornado in May 2019. 

Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado.

Certain conditions increase the likelihood of dust devil formation / are:

  • Flat barren terrain, desert or tarmac: Flat conditions increase the likelihood of the hot-air "fuel" being a near constant. Dusty or sandy conditions will cause particles to become caught up in the vortex, making the dust devil easily visible, but are not necessary for the formation of the vortex.
  • Clear skies or lightly cloudy conditions: The surface needs to absorb significant amounts of solar energy to heat the air near the surface and create ideal dust devil conditions.
  • Light or no wind and cool atmospheric temperature: The underlying factor for sustainability of a dust devil is the extreme difference in temperature between the near-surface air and the atmosphere. Windy conditions will destabilize the spinning effect of a dust devil.

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