Large dust devil caught on cellphone video by DeKalb County farmer

Jonathan Buttram captured this dust devil on cellphone video on May 14, 2018. (Source: Jonathan...
Jonathan Buttram captured this dust devil on cellphone video on May 14, 2018. (Source: Jonathan Buttram)
Updated: May. 16, 2018 at 7:51 PM CDT
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DEKALB COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - A DeKalb County farmer got the shock of his life when he ran up on a dust devil while bailing hay on Monday. It was all caught on camera.

Jonathan Buttram said he sees dust devils from time to time, but on Monday afternoon, he'd never seen one that big before.

"I pulled into the field and oh my gosh," said Buttram.

With his son, Zack, on the tractor, Buttram said he could see the dust devil growing as it crossed his field where he was ready to pick up hay.

But it was the dust devil doing the pickup instead of the hay baler.

"It was huge, the biggest one I ever saw and it probably picked up a thousand pounds of hay and scattered it across the woods," said Buttram.

WAFF 48 First Alert Meteorologist Eric Burke explained how they're formed.

"Heat rises and you create a very small area of low pressure. You start to get some winds rotating around it and it will pick up anything. Most of them are harmless, below EF0 tornado rating but it can knock over some trees or throw some lawn furniture around," said Burke.

Buttram said that's exactly what he experienced watching his hay thrown up an estimated 400 feet into the air before the dust devil lost its energy, hitting a tree line. Buttram said he wasn't scared.

"But this one I wouldn't have wanted to been in it. It was just amazing to watch," he said.

Buttram estimates he lost a bale of hay.

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