Rare weather event spotted in QLD
A WOMAN has shared a stunning photo of a weather event, captured by her daughter in their cattle yard in northern Queensland.
Terrie Pedracini said her daughter was working in their cattle yard in Charters Towers, Queensland, when they spotted the stunning tower of whirling dust travelling through their cattle holding paddock.
"Our daughter, son, and his girlfriend were working cattle in the yards close to our homestead," Ms Pedracini told news.com.au. "It wasn't an overly hot day with little wind, they were busy doing the cattle work when they looked up to see the whirlwind."
She said they took the photo of the "whirly wind" without thinking too much of it before they continued on with their work.
Later, her daughter showed her mother the photo, and she was stunned.
"I thought darn, why was I over the homestead cooking smoko and missed it?" she said.
The stunning photo showed a high vortex column of reddish dust over the cattle yard.
Ms Pedracini said the cattle did notice the weather event, but it didn't seem to bother them.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, a dust devil is a vortex of wind that resembles a small tornado but is much less powerful.
They form when there is intense heating of the ground, which causes air to move upwards rapidly, which in turn causes an inward movement of surrounding air, creating a spinning, spiral shape.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told news.com.au he was "quite certain it is a dust devil".
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, dust devils are generally between three and 100 metres in diameter and can reach heights of up to 300 metres.
Ms Pedracini posted the pictured to a weather enthusiasts Facebook group, and the stunning picture attracted more than 700 reactions and 50 comments.
"Wow amazing," one woman commented.
"A dust devil," another suggested. "The old men's tale is that you count the times it spins and that is the number of days until the next rain. It only spun once right??? Wishful thinking."
"That's a ripper whirly wind. We used to love playing with them as kids," another said.
"Sad it is so dry for you. Thanks for sharing," another said.