Mini Tornado Spotted On West Sussex Farm

A farmer in West Sussex has captured an amazing video of a mini tornado (known as a 'dust devil') on his farm in Rudgwick.

Tim Bargman was out collecting hay from his fields at Canfields Farm on the 18th of July when he spotted the small swirling phenomenon. 

He is quoted as saying:

“It was about lunch time, around 12ish or 1ish. I was just hay turning and I looked up and all this hay was coming towards me. “It must have been 25-30ft (wide) and went up in the sky 100 odd feet.” 

Tim decided not to miss the opportunity, so got off his tractor, whipped out his phone and started recording.

He said:

“It was fantastic. It picked up so much hay it was unbelievable. “You see much much smaller ones when you are a hay maker but I have not seen anything like this.” It lasted two minutes, travelling across two fields before it disappeared from view of the farm. It finally came to a stop at the village primary school, 3/4 of a mile away from the field where it started. “It kind of rained down on Rudgewick Primary School - There was a TA there who said they were out in the playground and it was just coming down.”

Like most of us, Tim had always referred to them as mini tornados, but this particular phenomenom is called a 'dust devil'. 

A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small (half a meter wide and a few meters tall) to large (more than 10 meters wide and more than 1000 meters tall). 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.

They are comparable to tornadoes in that both are a weather phenomenon of a vertically oriented rotating column of wind. Most tornadoes are associated with a larger parent circulation, the mesocyclone on the back of a supercell thunderstorm. Dust devils form as a swirling updraft under sunny conditions during fair weather, rarely coming close to the intensity of a tornado.

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