It was a sunny Sunday afternoon at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, New York City, when an unexpected visitor spun its way through — a whirling dervish of dirt, technically known as a dust devil.
Several people took out their smartphones and recorded the sight, posting pictures and video to social media.
We spoke to "Good Morning America" meteorologist Ginger Zee to clear some things up for us:
"Dust devils typically form on a hot, calm afternoon when the land heats quickly. That hot air rises quickly The decrease in heat with height is dramatic and this causes the air to spin. Dust is picked up and we see the rotation."
One eyewitness at the park posted to Twitter:
Zee said that although a dust devil is not a tornado, you should stay away from one if you see it. It is still a strong rotating wind that can pick up debris, like a lawn chair, which could prove dangerous.
Have you encountered a dust devil? What did you do? Let us know in the comments below.
- McCarren Park
- Ginger Zee
- dust devil