Monday, November 24, 2014

More Dust Devils

I often have occasion to see dust devils while traveling through Nevada, especially in the dryer months, but any time of year can afford the right conditions: a dry playa or dirt road (and other surfaces, read more here) and thermally unstable air. And so, while driving through the Fortymile Desert and about to pass by the Nightingale Hot Springs exit on I-80 back in early October —  the exit name combines two locations into one: Nightingale is from an old mining district and ghost town  in the Nightingale Mountains north of the freeway; Hot Springs is from the geothermal area at Brady's Hot Springs just south of the freeway — I noticed a large plume of dust rising from the desert just north of the highway. I pulled off, securing a viewing point near a powerline road crossing the main road going north to Nightingale.
Several dust devils, including the large, obviously whirling one, and a few tiny ones. Photo looks southwest toward basalt covered hills on the east side of the Truckee Range.
The large devil and three small ones apparently trailing it.
The same large dust devil, this time with two tiny ones seemingly leading.
Here, the same large dust devil appears to get all torqued out of shape!
Later, just for good measure, I took a photo of this devil, also in the Fortymile Desert; our view is southward toward the West Humboldt Range.
This last devil was located about 14 or 15 miles east of the group near the Nightingale Hot Springs exit. The white, rectangular thing on the horizon in the left part of the photo is a semi heading north on U.S. 95, about to reach I-80 near the old site of Trinity (MSRMaps location; Google Maps location).

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