‘It was unusual’: Man captures video of dust devil on Bear Mountain

'It was unusual': Man captures video of dust devil on Bear Mountain
Mike Moriarty captured video of a dust devil in the dirt lot across from his apartment building, Monday, July 31, 2023. He guesses the whirlwind was about 50 feet tall.

A Bear Mountain man was shocked to look out his bedroom window Monday and see a large dust devil spinning through the parking lot across the street.

It was around 2:30 p.m. when Mike Moriarty spotted what he initially thought was a tornado in the dirt lot across from his apartment in the 1300-block of Bear Mountain Parkway, near Country Club Way.

“It was weird. I hit record. Good timing,” said Moriarty, who sent the video to CHEK News Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve seen some smaller ones in that same spot. This one got all the momentum it needed. It was unusual.”

Moriarty guesses the dust devil was about 50 feet tall. He says it was only a couple of minutes before it dissipated, as seen at the end of his video. No one was injured.

Environment Canada says a dust devil is a small and vigorous but usually short-lived whirlwind that’s visible as it picks up dust and debris.

“Unlike tornadoes, dust devils do not drop from thunderclouds, but are caused by intense heating of the ground. Dust devils have an average height of 200 metres and diameters which range from about three metres to 30 metres,” according to information posted on Environment Canada’s website.

Moriarty quickly posted his video to his Instagram account, where he says the footage stirred up a lot of responses from his followers.

“I posted the video to my Instagram story,” he added. “People started going crazy with it. Got a lot of hits right away.”

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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