BRYAN CO., GA (WTOC) - A decently sized dust devil formed just north of Pembroke Tuesday morning, and Greg Nesmith caught it camera.
Dust devils don't normally form in the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry; conditions have to be just right. The day was clear, warm and calm, and the sun warmed up one part of the dirt faster than surrounding dirt. Nesmith did explain he was spraying the field when the phenomenon occurred, which could account for cooler sprayed dirt next to drier, warmer dirt.
The column of warm air rises, starts to rotate, picks up dust and debris, and forms a dust devil. Now, even though there's a similarity to a tornado as far as a "rotating column of air," dust devils form from the ground up under clear skies. A tornado forms with a larger parent circulation, the mesocyclone on the back of a supercell thunderstorm.
The width of a dust devil can be from 10-100, and according to the American Meteorological Society, with an average height of about 650 feet, so our "Tobacco Road Dust Devil" reached some significant heights, perhaps 1,000 feet!