The 15-metre-high whirl of dust interrupted the training of a boys’ football team in Cologne last week, but at least it was caught on camera, according to Focus magazine.
A video posted to Facebook last Friday shows the ferocious flurry of dust spinning around the football field and knocking over a metal goal while some boys attempt to or succeed in running through it, unharmed. The swirl of dust then suddenly vanishes into seemingly thin air.
An expert from the German Weather Service (DWD) explained to the Rheinische Post how the little tornado occurred.
“Such wind columns are produced when air begins to rotate on an extremely heated ground,” said expert Cornelia Urban, adding that meteorologists refer to these as “dust devils”.
These dust devils are often very short-lived, only swirling about briefly in the air. For them to emerge, several conditions have to occur at once.
“It must have been dry for a while, it must be quite hot, and the ground must be dusty,” says Urban.
Therefore, dust devils are relatively rare in Germany.