Dust Devil Seriously Injures North Dakota Girl

Jul 18, 2004
Westport, CT
"TRENTON, N.D. - A whirlwind carried a trampoline about 60 feet and over a fence as a 4-year-old girl was jumping on it, knocking her unconscious, witnesses told police.

Grace Hove suffered a broken arm in three places, a fractured pelvis, dislocated jaw and bruises to a lung and kidney in Sunday's incident, said her mother, Rae Hove.

"She's expected to make a full recovery," Rae Hove said Monday. "She's doing very well. Thank God. It could have been worse.""

More: Grand Forks Herald - "Report: Whirlwind picks up trampoline; knocks girl unconscious"
Glad to hear grace is getting better and that her injuries was not life threatning. My prayers to her and her family on a full safe recovery.
How totally weird to hear of dust devils getting violent!

A meteorologist in another forum said some probably occasionally generate winds of 90-100 kt, and that some in AZ have caused F1 damage. That surprised me quite bit.
When I was in sixth grade, a dust devil came to my school yard and took my friend Jimmy's leather jacket and blew it high into the sky. It was a winter coat, so not light-weight at all. I remember wondering how he was going to explain to his mom how he lost his jacket, whether she'd believe him or not. Well, I was there if he needed me to back up the story. Jimmy's jacket really did go flying off into the hinterland, sucked clean off the ground by a dust devil!

Another time, I was in a car and and a dust devil came right over. I remember the car getting lighter, as the power of the wind tugged at the vehicle. I was being lifted, if not just a little. Dust devils can be quite strong.
I always show this one to my students (I couldn't attach the file so I uploaded it to YouTube)

Japan Dust Devil

Thanks for sharing that Josh. just this past sunday my 7yr old boy and I where on a gravel road and chased one for a couple miles thru the cornfields here in Iowa. Boy loved the video :D
When I was an undergrad at Purdue, I studied dust devils for my Bachelor's Honors thesis (equivalent of capstone project here at OU). As part of it, I went out to some freshly plowed farm fields west of campus and videoed several large dust devils. Many exhibited multiple vortex structure. Just for the heck of it, I ran through several of them (closing my eyes of course :) ).
The one who wrote the article needs a little technical help
The dust devil will stop once the warm, stable air is used up, he said.

Some dust devils have been documented to be as much as 10 feet wide and 13 miles tall, and they can be dangerous, Assid said.[/b]

Dust devils can indeed be very strong. I personally watched one from my 12th floor office window in Tucson that took out a main powerline among other damage. I've also seen them trash carport covers and awnings and lift corrugated sheets, plywood, lumber, trash cans, etc., high in the air.
I saw a weak one at National Training Center, Ft Irwin, CA last April. I also saw several of them come through at my transient camp in Kuwait. Those were a bit more on the violent side as they tore up some tents.
Just the other day we had a dust devil race through our yard just after lunch, knocking over a swingset, lofting sunflower stalks fifty feet into the air, blowing a five pound ax head on a t-post ten feet and ripping up the corner of a roof on a small storage shed. It was a powerful little sucker. Another strong dust devil I witnessed blew a window out of a neighbors garage and collapsed an old outbuilding while twirling it's wooden shingles thirty feet in the air for about a tenth of a mile before it dissipated and the shingles rained out of the sky for about five seconds. Another strange dust devil story is my grandfather was driving to Jackson Resevoir (a lake about fifteen miles southwest of my house) and he drove through a large dust devil in his little Dodge D50 pickup. When he drove through the vortex it actually blew the truck 180 degrees as he was driving down the road. Luckily he was able to get stopped without wrecking it and wasn't hurt, just a little shaken up. Dust devils can get quite nasty if they feel like it and the right conditions are present.
How totally weird to hear of dust devils getting violent!

A meteorologist in another forum said some probably occasionally generate winds of 90-100 kt, and that some in AZ have caused F1 damage. That surprised me quite bit.

So-I guess the only difference between violent dust devils like this and weak tornadoes is the absense of a thundercloud. Hmmmmm....

This makes me wonder how powerful the dust devils on Mars get. Those things can get quite big from what I remember reading. :blink:
I am a PE teacher in AZ (soon to move to KS) and I have to teach under the ramada outside some times. Wirls and dust devils come roaring through on and off... Blowing my equipment around and important papers of my stereo cart... But the great one was when some 1st graders were using the parachute and we got hit by a fair sized dust devil and a couple were dragged but not hurt because they would not let go...

Wild time that was....