Dust devil stirs up shoppers

| 20/04/2020 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service
Dust devil at Foster’s airport branch on Saturday

(CNS): People out shopping for essential supplies at the airport branch of Foster’s supermarket on Saturday encountered a ‘dust devil’ in the car park, which caused a stir on social media. Officials at the Cayman Islands National Weather Service explained to CNS that the phenomenon is a whirlwind of air into which dust and debris gets caught up, making it visible. They are usually seen during relatively dry conditions, when the sun is strongly heating the ground and winds are light.

Dust devils form through a different mechanism than tornadoes and are much smaller, usually only 10 to 50 feet in diameter, and generally do not extend more than 100 feet into the air. They produce wind speeds reaching 25 to 30 mph, which last from a few minutes up to half an hour in extreme cases.

A tornado, on the other hand, forms from a super-cell thunderstorm, which do not form on the Cayman Islands, the experts said. Saturday’s dust devil appeared around 4:30pm and was caught on camera by many shoppers, some of whom believed it was a tornado. However, aside from some garbage being flung around the parking lot, no damage was done.

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Category: Science & Nature, Weather

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes I do wonder if some of CNS’s readers have just arrived off the boat (were there a boat to arrive on nowadays). There’s nothing weird about dust-devils here; they’re pretty common. And just because someone had a phone to take a picture of it doesn’t make it news.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It was a lockdown FART!

  3. Anonymous says:

    This has caused more deaths than the Corona virus in Cayman.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Rastafari !

  5. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely hilarious seeing people post about this natural and relatively tiny whirlwind being an end sign

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s interesting to those videoing and watching because all their life living here they haven’t seen it before. So yes a lot of people are correlating earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, whirlwinds, droughts etc. as a sign of the times we’re living in.

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