I have lived down here for almost 20 years, and have NEVER seen a dust devil the size of the one I witnessed across the street. I really wish I would have had my cameraphone on me. (Didn't I vow to always carry that thing?)
Anyway, I managed to find a photo online REALLY similar to what I saw:
These were actually taken in the northwest valley! The one I saw was a lot darker brown than this one, but just as big. If it would have been a real tornado I probably would have freaked, run inside, gotten my camera and taken a picture just before I got swept up and carried off to Oz. My Grandmother used to warn us when we came down to visit when I was little that that's what would happen if we didn't stay away from dust devils. There was another Indian name she used to call them, but for the life of me I can't remember it. I think I believe her story after seeing that monstrosity today.
I HAVE had them blow across the road a few times, strong enough to rock my car. These things are pretty common this time of year, but they never last very long, so I just stood there, mezmorized, hoping it wouldn't switch directions and cover me with dust and small debris.It really made my day. Now I'm on a quest to get a picture of my own, but like I said, I've NEVER seen one this damn big the whole time I've lived down here. Really tall, but not nearly as wide as it was. It was quite a sight. Almost makes the 115-degree heat worth living in the desert.
I said ALMOST.
Have a great weekend!