Rare dust devil spotted in North Carolina parking lot

Photo credit: Lacey Jai Pace

COFIELD, N.C. (WAVY) – A whirlwind of dust swirled to great heights in a parking lot in North Carolina Tuesday afternoon and a WAVY viewer captured it on camera.

Lacey Pace was at work at the time when she spotted it, around 1 p.m.. Lacey says it had been going on for about three minutes before she started recording it and then it continued about five minutes more.

The American Meteorology Society defines a dust devil as “a well-developed dust whirl; a small but vigorous whirlwind, usually of short duration, rendered visible by dust, sand and debris picked up from the ground.”

Dust devils usually form on clear, dry, hot afternoons, much like today.

Depending on where they form, some dust devils can get strong enough to cause minor damage. Fortunately for Lacey, even though it was swirling close to her car, she says it didn’t do any damage.