dust devil(redirected from Willy willies)
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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.
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dust devil[′dəst ‚dev·əl]
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.