dust devil

(redirected from Willy willies)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

whirlwind

whirlwind, revolving mass of air resulting from local atmospheric instability, such as that caused by intense heating of the ground by the sun on a hot summer day. Examples of whirlwinds are waterspouts, tornadoes, small whirls of dust or leaves, and the sand whirls of the desert, called dust devils or dust whirls.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

dust devil

[′dəst ‚dev·əl]
(meteorology)
A small but vigorous whirlwind, usually of short duration, rendered visible by dust, sand, and debris picked up from the ground; diameters range from about 10 to 100 feet (3 to 30 meters), and average height is about 600 feet (180 meters).
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.