Dust devil

A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively short-lived whirlwind, ranging from small (half a metre wide and a few metres tall) to large (more than 10 m wide and more than 1 km 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.[1][2]

A dust devil in Ramadi, Iraq
Sequence of dust devils
Dust devil
A dust devil in Arizona
Area of occurrencePrimarily temperate and tropical regions
SeasonMost common in summer
EffectDust and debris lofted into air, possibly wind damage
A dust devil in Krakow, Poland

They are comparable to tornadoes in that both are a weather phenomenon involving 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.