Video: Dust devil captured in Co Carlow field

Rare phenomenon filmed by passing motorist

Freelance cameraman Martin Cavanagh stumbled upon a twister yesterday in the townland of Ballyveal off the N80 between Bunclody and Kildare.

Thu, Aug 8, 2013, 17:53

Can you tell the difference between a tornado and a dust devil?

No? You are not alone.

Happily, we know a man who can, and he has confirmed that the rotating column of air filmed by a motorist in a field at Ballyveal in Co Carlow was the latter.

Met Éireann forecaster John Eagleton explained that tornadoes descend from the sky, while dust devils come from the ground up. Dust devils are usually much smaller in scale, power and energy.

Freelance cameraman Martin Cavanagh captured the dust devil on video after he noticed it while driving along the N80 at Ballyveal towards Co Kildare.

“A few cars spotted it and stopped. The field is just literally beside the road,” he said.

“It obviously started at one side of the field, because you could see some of the hay on the electric wires, and moved across to the other,” he said. “It faded after a minute and a half or two minutes.”

Mr Eagleton said dust devils are s created by a thermal effect during warm and sunny weather. “They are not a common occurrence of the Irish climate,” he said. “But we do get them sometimes.”