Historically attributed to spirits, genies or ghosts, dust devils are strong and long-lived whirlwinds that range from a half-meter wide and a few meters tall to more than ten meters wide and more than 1,000 meters tall. They are similar to tornadoes in that they form around a vertical rotating column of air. However, dust devils form under fair weather conditions. Sunny skies heat the ground, which can produce swirling updrafts of air called turbulence. These frequently develop in the hot and dry deserts and are much smaller and less destructive than tornadoes.
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