Dust devil stops Virginia little league game

Posted at 8:54 AM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 08:58:44-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - Incredible video shows a dust devil touching down during the 2019 7u Virginia State Invitational Tournament in Henrico County Saturday afternoon.

Ginger Rutherford said the dust devil "suddenly showed up in the middle of play" during Game 4 around 4:10 p.m.

"Many boys were in awe, a few were really frightened and ran, some asking if it was a tornado," Rutherford said.

“Do you see that?” one spectator can be heard saying as the dust devil moves across the field.

"Daddy!” one child screams in the video captured by Melanie McCollum.

Another child says he can see a rainbow before the whirlwind abruptly dissolves as it nears the side of the field.

The game was paused while officials waited for the dust devil to dissipate. The players then returned to their positions and the game continued.

"While they didn’t bring home a championship, this team represented Glen Allen the right way. The kids played hard for two days," officials with the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association posted.

The New Kent All-Stars beat Glen Allen 12-0.

Rutherford said the boys represented Glen Allen well during the "unbelievable heat."

What causes dust devils?

WTVR Meteorologist Mike Goldberg said the hot weather helped the dust devil form since the phenomenon is caused by the uneven heating of surfaces.

“You have the dirt surface and then the grass,” Goldberg explained. “And if you noticed, it formed over the dirt because the dirt heated up a lot quicker than the grass. And that led to a rising column of air.”

Goldberg said dust devils feed off heat, so as long as it stayed over the dirt on the field, it was continually gaining more heat from the dirt.

Accordingly, the dust devil dissipated as it exited the field because of cooler air.

“Cooler air gets sucked in and that leads to it evaporating,” Goldberg said.