Articles | Volume 33, issue 11
Regular paper
04 Nov 2015
Regular paper |  | 04 Nov 2015

Dust devil vortex generation from convective cells

O. Onishchenko, O. Pokhotelov, W. Horton, and V. Fedun

Abstract. We have developed a hydrodynamic theory of the nonlinear stage of dust devil generation in a convectively unstable atmosphere with large-scale seed vertical vorticity. It is shown that convective motion in such an atmosphere transforms into dust devils extremely fast. The strong vortical structure of the dust devils can be formed in a few minutes or even in a fraction of a minute. The formation process strongly depends on the convective instability growth rate and horizontal vorticity.

The work is supported by the US Department of Energy under Contract DEFG02-04ER-54742.