Dust devil in Atacama desert
by Rita Nogherotto, International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP ), Trieste, Italy
Dust devils are like miniature tornadoes, they form when a pocket of hot air near the surface moves fast upward and meets cooler air above it. As the air rapidly rises, the column of hot air is stretched vertically, thereby moving mass closer to the axis of rotation, which causes intensification of the spinning effect by conservation of angular momentum. In Atacama desert they are really common, and the desert is a perfect "lab" to observe and study their formation!
Rita Nogherotto (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)