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Dust Devil spotted in Alberta

March 31st, 2010 - One of our viewers snapped the photo below of a dust devil swirling in Balzac, Alberta. Click the video on the left to find out what a dust devil is.

We receive hundreds of photos from our viewers every day here at The Weather Network. But on Tuesday, one in particular caught our eye. Erin sent us this photo of a dust devil swirling near Balzac, Alberta -- north of Calgary.

What is a Dust Devil?

A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind.

It forms when hot air near the surface rises quickly through a small pocket of cooler, low- pressure air above it.

If conditions are just right, the air may begin to rotate. Normally, this phenomenon occurs under sunny conditions during fair weather.

A dust devil is sometimes called a "dancing devil" or a "sun devil".

Now, it may LOOK like a tornado, but a dust devil rarely comes close to the intensity of a tornado. It is usually harmless.

For more details on what kind of weather conditions you can expect in Alberta this week, make sure you tune into The Weather Network on TV. Your National forecast comes up at the top and bottom of every hour.

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