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Caught On Camera

WATCH: 'This is bananas,' man engulfed in dust cloud


Leeanna McLean
Digital Reporter

Friday, September 29, 2017, 16:24 - Brent Rose of California was on his way to meet some friends on Sept. 3 when all of a sudden a massive cloud of dust engulfed his van.

The Californian was driving on Highway 33 near the community of Buttonwillow around 6:30 p.m. local time when he noticed winds were picking up. 

"There was a lot of dust in the air. When I turned around to head in a different direction, this crazy whiteout dust storm just came out of nowhere," he told The Weather Network. "Suddenly everything was gone."

Rose decided to pull over, though it was no simple task.


FALL IS BACK: An extended summer or an early start to winter? Find out with The Weather Network’s 2017 Fall Forecast | FORECAST & MAPS HERE


"It was actually more challenging than you would think because I couldn't even see either side of the road at that point," he said. "Finally I made it over just before a little bridge that went over an irrigation ditch and just kind of parked there and weathered this crazy, very intense storm."

At one point Rose feared his vehicle would tip over.

The frightening weather phenomenon caught on camera



"I really thought this was a tornado. It felt like it very, very much," he said. "I was in a Sprinter van, which is very tall and narrow. When wind hits it at the side, it acts like a sail. I was really getting pushed over."

In addition to the strong winds, rain helped to turn the dust into mud, according to Rose.

"It was extremely loud. You could just hear this howling wind and then once the dust was hitting, it really sounded like I was being sandblasted. I figured the whole side would have been exfoliated. I really thought I was going to lose a lot of paint."

Rose said not only were the elements scary, but so was the thought of being hit by another vehicle.

The entire event lasted about 20 minutes. Aside from a mud-caked vehicle, the top of his air conditioning unit was destroyed.

"In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't too bad damage-wise."

While Rose and other media have refereed to the weather phenomenon as a gustnado, The Weather Network meteorologist Dayna Vettese believes this could have been a result of a downburst.

"It appears the winds come from one direction and are not spinning, which leads me to believe this is not a gustnado," she said. "This could be due to a downburst or gust front from a thunderstorm. Sometimes you can get downburst winds out of a thunderstorm that kicks up dust, and it's so strong that it can feel like a tornado."

While Rose said he received an extreme weather alert on his mobile device prior to being hit, it was issued for Santa Barbara, which was about 160 miles away.

"I just knew to be aware that there could be some weird stuff out there, but I certainly wasn't expecting that."

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