NATOMAS (CBS13) – Dust devil or tornado? Video from the Natomas area captured the whirling sight in the sky just west of North Sacramento.
CBS13 photojournalist Terry Haggart captured the moment while on a bike ride (see the full video above).
Despite resembling a funnel cloud or tornado, it was determined to be a dust devil due to there being no wind shear.
The National Weather Service defines dust devils as "an ensemble of particles of dust or sand, sometimes accompanied by small litter, raised from the ground in the form of a whirling column of varying height with a small diameter and an approximately vertical axis."
According to the NWS, dust devils typically occur during warmer periods like the spring and summer and are more common in drier climates, usually when the ground becomes significantly warmer than the air above it. They usually last only a few minutes at a time.
Dust devils can sometimes go up thousands of feet and rarely cause any damage.
The video was taken at around 7:18 p.m.
The sight came as a late-season storm has brought some much-needed moisture to the region as summer fast approaches along with the threat of another dangerous wildfire season.
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