What exactly was caught on film in El Paso this past weekend. Was it a funnel cloud or a dust devil?

What exactly is a dust devil?

According to the American Meteorological Society (AMS), a dust devil is defined as, “a well-developed dust whirl; a small but vigorous whirlwind, usually of short duration, rendered visible by dust, sand, and debris picked up from the ground.” A tornado, in turn, is defined as, “a rotating column of air, in contact with the surface, pendant from a cloud, and often visible as and/or circulating debris/dust at the ground.”

If there is any natural disaster that is terrifying to me, tornado might be on the top of the list. Earthquake is right there wit hit, because both of those strike with almost no warning. Yes, there are tornado alarms and you can track the weather, but they move so fast and are so powerful, I can't help but be terrified of those things.

Tornadoes, while rare in El Paso, do happen. CLICK HERE to check out a map of reported tornadoes in El Paso from 1955 to 1997. There was 42 total reported tornadoes in that stretch.

I remember my first realization of how dangerous tornadoes can be, and it's a really stupid example. It was an episode of Roseanne when a tornado hits and blows out the front windows of their house.

Now that we're going down this rabbit hole, I have to share another clip from Roseanne that gets me every damn time. "DAD'S DEAD!"

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