DENVER — It's hard to get (safely) closer to a tornado than this.
Rosa Bautista captured dramatic footage of a dust devil moving through Arvada on Tuesday. While no damage is believed to have been caused by the dust devil, it certainly led to dramatic scenes on Tuesday afternoon.
You can see the dust devil video in full below:
There was at least one other sighting of the Arvada dust devil on Tuesday.
A dust devil forms when a pocket of hot air close to the surface rises and twists, and they usually remain mostly stationary. Most dust devils don't last more than five minutes, but some stronger ones can spin for as long as 10 minutes.
They're difficult to predict because they're often highly localized and caused by small pockets of very warm air.
In the video above, you can see the sun over and near the dust devil, while the background appears to be mainly cloudy. What likely happened was a narrow pocket of warm air formed near the ground, thanks to the blip of sunshine. That allowed the air to rapidly rise in a small area, causing the dust devil.
Dust devils form in a different way than tornadoes do; dust devils form from the ground extending up to the sky, while most tornadoes form from the base of a cloud extending down to the surface.
While dust devils typically happen on hot and sunny days, there were some clouds around on Tuesday afternoon during the Arvada dust devil.
The forecast has gradually warming temperatures across most of Colorado on Thursday and Friday with high fire danger and gusty winds.
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