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mini tornado in playground...need help

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posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:30 PM
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Against my better judgement, i have decided to post this here in the hope i can get some answers. I tried searching on google but the only page that seemed to have an answer (or a similar question) was not working. And if this is in the wrong forum, sorry...had no idea where to post it.

My son (15) came home from school yesterday and said he had something to tell me but that it would probably sound absurd.

He said he was walking across the playground and then, about 20ft away fom him, he saw what he described as a mini tornado seemingly arise from the ground. It got to about 7ft high and then died down after a few seconds. He said it was clearly defined by the swirling dust and bits of rubbish, and he clearly saw an orange bag being twirled around and around with it.

What is more interesting is that there were a couple of girls walking near it and they sort of jumped back with a "woah" expression on their faces. But when he asked his friends if they had seen anything, they said no...and no-one else seems to have seen it either.

It wasn't windy yesterday, just a slight breeze....and my son is not lying or making it up, i know this for a fact. If anything, he seemed a bit weirded out by it.

So i need some help from the weather experts....was this possible? We live in the UK, London area if that's any help.




posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:33 PM
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It's commonly called a dust devil. Rising air pulls air from the surrounding area and starts it spinning.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:36 PM
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reply to post by geek101
 


Hi geek101,

Of course your son was telling you the truth. What he saw is a "Dust Devil", their kind of like mini tornado's. Here in Kansas, we see them all the time when its warm or hot, and DRY.



[edit on 27-4-2010 by RussianScientists]



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:36 PM
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Yeah that was a dust devil. I use to see them all the time growing up in central California. They are pretty common. I remember seeing 2 or more at the same time.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:40 PM
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Yes, is possible, here in Venezuela where we dont have tornados i had see them several times.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:40 PM
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ok....thanks for that!

A dust devil....so at least he wasn't imagining it. They must be pretty rare then, am i right? At least here in the UK....i've certainly never seen one before. It was a warm day, but cloudy.

Thanks so much for the speedy replies.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:41 PM
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I agree with the three posters above me.

They are not that common in my neck of the woods, but I have seen one or two in my life. They can actually be pretty strong from what I've read.. nothing to pick you up or anything, but certainly something that could freak you out.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:42 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


that was amazing!

The one he saw wasn't that big and died down pretty quickly...that one was scary.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:45 PM
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reply to post by geek101
 


They are far from rare in Kansas. On the right days in Kansas, when its hot and dry, you might see dozens of them. Sometimes you will see two or three of them at a time.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:54 PM
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I've noticed that the average person's situational awareness sucks. They probably just didn't notice it.



posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:55 PM
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reply to post by geek101
 

They happen on Mars too.




posted on Apr, 27 2010 @ 11:57 PM
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skid mark.....i know....he said there were kids all around, but no-one else noticed it!


phage....yeah, i just saw that after i went searching for "dust devils".
They're really cool.....wish i had seen it :-(



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:01 AM
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I've seen one once.I was younger(maybe 16 or so).It was really strong and didn't last long.It was pretty close to me too.I felt some of the winds from it.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:10 AM
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Here is Australia we get them all the time, I have seen a group of four or five at one time, and also had quite a large one go through my town, hurling chairs and tables a couple of hundred metres away. In fact I saw a couple when driving last weekend.

I have probably seen well over 100 in my life.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:26 AM
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I live in Oklahoma, they're awful common here. I was in Colorado one time and I saw an extremely large one, like 30 or 40 feet high. It was crazy.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:27 AM
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In Texas we got them all the time, and I do mean all the time.

We called them "Dirt Devils" though.

I rarely used the term Dust Devil.

Same thing though.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 12:29 AM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 

When I was in the Willamette Valley (Oregon) we had mud devils.



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 02:39 AM
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I call it the Wal-Mart or Strip mall tornado, a school is similar. They're usually made out of plastic bags, fast food cups and anything else between.
Winds compress at sharp angles like brick walls, abrupt turns of a building, all the right needs for a vortex of wind. Harmless besides the debris inhaled or in the eyes. Might knock you over.. if off balance already. I suppose it could throw off your equilibrium to the same effect. Is it awesome? Yes it is!


[edit on 4/28/2010 by vap0rxt]



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 06:29 AM
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reply to post by geek101
 


Yeah, the UK has actually one of the largest occurences of tornados anywhere in the world but the fact is most are small scale (F1 just about) and happen in the nighttime. Something to do with the wind shear created by the gulf stream and the northerlies interacting. I've seen a few myself in the UK and of course, we sometimes hear about bigger ones, remember the roofs in Birmingham that were ripped off?



posted on Apr, 28 2010 @ 07:03 AM
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Yeah we get these in North Carolina all the time.

First time I saw one was when I was around 4 or 5 out in our field after it had been plowed but before it was planted. Thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen.



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