Weather event filmed in Houston likely a large dust devil, says Environment Canada.

houston dust devil

Environment Canada says a video that has been circulating on social media purporting to show a tornado in Houston is more likely showing a dust devil.

The weather event was recorded and posted on Facebook by Happy Jack’s Restaurant and Bar in Houston, with the title "Tornado in the North."

Meteorologist Doug Lundquist says tornadoes are usually wider in size, while the weather event in the video is quite narrow.

"Dust devils can actually get strong enough to be as strong as a weak tornado, but they tend to be ground-based whereas a tornado comes down from the clouds," he said. "That really looked like a typical dust devil, but a strong one that could cause minor damage."

He says tornadoes tend to form in the clouds during severe storms while dust devils happen when air in hot weather tries to travel up into the atmosphere, and the weather in Northwest B.C. has been remarkably warm lately.

Lundquist says Environment Canada will have a final answer as to whether the event was a tornado or a dust devil in a week or two.

"We still haven't finished the entire investigation," he said. "But I think the first impression is that it's probably a large dust devil."