A ‘dust devil’ has hit a village in Loire-Atlantique, with one couple managing to capture a video of the unusual sight.
The dust trail, which was whipped up into the air like a mini tornado, was seen above a freshly-cut wheat field near Châteaubriant (Loire-Atlantique) on July 28.
Pascale et Benoît Perchet, from the nearby village of Moisdon-la-Rivière, saw the spiral at around 14:30.
Mr Perchet told local newspaper Ouest France: “It rose up into the clouds, in the form of a mushroom, 50 centimetres off the ground. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve ever seen that. It was spectacular.”
However, an engineer at forecaster Météo France said that the event was not such a rarity.
He said: “It’s quite a common phenomenon and we see it in France fairly regularly. It needs heat, or hot air, good sunshine, and very dry air.”
The weather event occurs when two neighbouring bits of the ground are heating up differently, and the atmosphere is unstable.
While it takes the form of a mini-tornado, the phenomenon is not a storm, and is more often known as a ‘dust devil’, which would translate to ‘tourbillon de poussière’ in French.