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Watch as 'dust devil' whirlwind catches drivers by surprise between Mijas and Fuengirola

A large cloud of dust blew up as the wind swept through a construction site next to the road

Ignacio Lillo

Wednesday, 15 May 2024, 18:18

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The strong and dry wind affecting the Costa del Sol this Wednesday gave rise to a dust storm that took drivers by surprise at around 3pm on the main road through Mijas and Fuengirola. A whirlwind passing through a roadside building site led to images that were shared through the social media group Fuengirola Se Queja.

This type of whirlwind (called a tolvanera in Spanish) is also popularly known as a "dust devil". José Luis Escudero, an expert in meteorology in Malaga and head of the blog Tormentas y Rayos, in SUR.es, explained what it is all about: "Whirlwinds were very frequent years ago; they are formed above all in summer, on dry days like today, with wind and temperature differences in different layers."

Escudero said this should not be confused with tornadoes or other much more extreme meteorological phenomena. "These are very common in flat places like Antequera, and even storm chasers get inside and get covered in dust and sand, but they're harmless," he added. The wind gusts in these cases range between 20 and 40 km/h, and the contrast between the dryness of the ground, the wind and the temperature, is what causes this cloud of dust to rise.

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