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'Ghost' vortex damages parked police car


Posted on Friday, 8 November, 2013 | Comment icon 23 comments

The vortex broke the mirror and ripped it clean off. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Ildar Sagdejev
CCTV footage at a police parking lot has revealed an unusual culprit in a recent vandalism case.
A Hartford police officer returning to his vehicle on Wednesday discovered to his dismay that it appeared to have been vandalized. The damage seemed to be centered primarily around one of the wing mirrors which had been torn off entirely and then deposited on the ground next to the car.

Determined to catch those responsible, the officer reviewed CCTV footage of the area to catch the perpetrator in the act but instead bore witness to something altogether unexpected.

The footage appeared to show a strange whirling vortex sweeping across the parking lot before settling over his car and tearing off the wing mirror. The vortex didn't seem to damage any of the other vehicles and somehow managed to drop the broken mirror directly beside the car that it had come from.

Meteorologist Brad Field believes that the phenomena is what is known as a dust devil, a small whirlwind that can form under the right conditions.

"The only way you can see the dust devil is that it picks up dust and debris into it," he said.



Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (23)

Tags: Dust Devil, Vortex

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Calibeliever on 8 November, 2013, 17:35
Very common occurance in the US southwest. Pretty cool to see it caught on camera though.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Lesionia on 8 November, 2013, 19:23
hmm we get dust devils all the time here, but that's an awfully big one... I doubt its paranormal though. Guess mother nature didn't like that cop.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Sundew on 8 November, 2013, 22:31
No mystery, it's a dust devil, a vortex similar to a tornado, but not formed by clashing air masses, usually just from rising warm air, and often under clear skies. They rarely have enough force to do significant damage; my guess is the mirror was already loose. I saw one form in front of me in Atlanta, Georgia under blue skies, it lifted trash and leaves high into the air and was amazing to watch. It lasted only a few seconds.
Comment icon #17 Posted by highdesert50 on 9 November, 2013, 2:59
Just got plastered by one today. Usually rather benign in the southwest states, I am impressed by the strength of this dust devil in removing the mirror.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Hobbit Feet on 9 November, 2013, 12:48
In Southern AZ they're very common. I've seen a few that were over 100+ feet tall in areas where there's only desert with no structures to break it up. The farther they go the taller they get. Some are powerful enough to rip roofs off sheds. Some are not tall but wide.
Comment icon #19 Posted by kapow53 on 9 November, 2013, 23:25
Here's a big one
Comment icon #20 Posted by goodgodno on 11 November, 2013, 0:58
Have seen many of these in the outback of Australia, some can get surprisingly big. They call them 'willy-willies', and if I remember correctly they do represent spirits in aboriginal myth.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Orcseeker on 11 November, 2013, 15:05
A mini tornado in the middle of a parking lot, that takes out just one car, is not an attention getter? I'd say it's unheard of. So why wasn't the article titled along the lines of what it actually looked like?
Comment icon #22 Posted by Lady Shade on 11 November, 2013, 16:32
When I was a kid we played in the dust devils we get here. We would chase them down and get "in" them until they disappeared. They were nvr strong enough to hurt anyone let alone take a mirror off a car. Idk maybe where they are the dust devils are stronger?
Comment icon #23 Posted by mysticwerewolf on 11 November, 2013, 19:36
when I was a kid ( 11 & 12) the residential back streets around where I lived were all dirt and dust and every summer we would get dust devils. occasionally they would be as tall as the pine trees in the area, but usually they were about twenty to thirty feet tall. I have seen kids ride bikes through them and run through them. and get picked up and tossed around like rag dolls... we enjoyed every minute of it. we made a game out of it land on your feet without falling and everyone had to give you a dime. land any other way and you had to give everyone else in the game a dime.( we were kids... [More]


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