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Dust devil rips through Apple Valley

APPLE VALLEY, Calif. ( — A rather large dust devil or microburst tore through the Town of Apple Valley Thursday afternoon leaving many residents feeling like it was a tornado.

“Anyone in Apple Valley just witness the tornado going through? Trees, dirt, and trash flying everywhere. Dust was so thick we couldn’t see across the street,” commented Shari Boyd in the Victor Valley 411 Facebook group.

It happened at about 4:00 pm, and according to many residents, it came from Lucerne Valley and traveled across the Desert Knolls area.

Jeannette Benoit said the dust devil took her sister’s canopy and smashed her daughter’s and car windows.

Kerri Russell said the experience was bizarre. “Hot breezy then crazy and dust clouds for about 5 minutes then sprinkled and gone.”

Jonita Terrell said “from someone who grew up in Texas, sure didn’t look like a tornado to me. Not dark enough, for one thing. If/when you see a tornado, you don’t have the majority of the people asking what it is. You KNOW.”

What is a Microburst?

A microburst is a localized column of sinking air (downdraft) within a thunderstorm and is usually less than or equal to 2.5 miles in diameter. Microbursts can cause extensive damage at the surface, and in some instances, can be life-threatening. There are two primary types of microbursts: 1) wet microbursts and 2) dry microbursts. Wet microbursts are accompanied by significant precipitation and are common in the Southeast during the summer months. **National Weather Service

What is a dust devil?

A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively short-lived whirlwind, ranging from small to large. The primary vertical motion is upward. Dust devils are usually harmless, but can on rare occasions grow large enough to pose a threat to both people and property. **Wikipedia

dust devil knocks over tree in apple valley
(A large pine tree on Tawya Road in Apple Valley was knocked over. — Photo by Rose Terracciano)
(Dust devil along Palmdale Road and Cobalt in Victorville — Photo by Beltran Castillo)
(Dust devils as seen from high above in an aircraft — Photo by Mike Carrier)
(Photo of the aftermath of the dust devil — photo by Sara Louise)
(Photo by Sandra Haslam)

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