Joel Bueckert was helping with seeding at his father’s farm earlier this week when he captured what he says was the largest dust devil he’s ever witnessed.
“First thing I thought is I gotta grab my phone to show the boys,” he said.
The video shows the natural phenomenon forming a dark pillar reaching into the blue Prairie sky, slowly moving across a field near Eyebrow, Sask., about 115 kilometres northwest of Regina.
Bueckert says the dry conditions being experienced by farmers across the province have been contributing to an increase in the number of dust devils spotted while working out in the field. While they’re certainly true to their name in tossing around a lot of dust, Bueckert wasn’t worried.
“I thought it was neat,” he said, adding he was confident the dust devil would not have enough strength to toss the tractor.
WATCH: Joel Bueckert posted this video to his Instagram account
He posted the video to Instagram. For friends outside the province, it was an uncommon sight.
“All of my Saskatchewan friends said. ‘Oh wow, that’s a big one,'” said Bueckert. “All of my out of province friends said, ‘Why are you driving toward it?’ But anyone from around here knows they’re not too dangerous.”
Alysa Pederson, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, confirmed what Bueckert captured on video was a dust devil and not a tornado, noting conditions are prime this time of year.
“When it’s warmer and it’s drier, that’s when we would see it,” she said.
The difference between dust devils and tornadoes is that the former come from warm air rising from the ground, as opposed to being created by an overhead storm. She said there is still a small chance for some damage, as they can produce wind speeds ranging from 90 to 150 kilometres per hour.
“If somebody is going to see one of those in a field, the best advice would be to stay away from it,” she said. “It’s a column of spinning air and it’s spinning very rapidly and it can toss debris if it comes across any, but generally they’re not too severe.”
Pederson said that as the summer continues, it’s important for people to keep a close eye on the weather and to ensure they take cover if anything severe approaches.