Willy Willy's

Submitted: Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 22:07
ThreadID: 57995 Views:2048 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Do they happen at night as well as during the day?? We saw some beauty's while around Leonora recently and had a small one start up right next to us while having lunch one day. Also saw some of the trails of destruction they leave while out detecting recently too.
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Reply By: Member - Doug T (FNQ) - Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 23:41

Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 23:41
I can remember when living at Sunlands near Waikerie , on the fruit block you'd see little ones about a foot high just swirling the sand ,
Had some rippers in the States eh,
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Reply By: Dave B (NSW) - Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 23:52

Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 23:52
I can't imagine them happening at night but I might be wrong.
As far as I know they are created by hot air currents.
I often see more than half a dozen at a time driving between Broken Hill and Mildura. One time looking out over the Mundi Mundi plains, I counted 13 different willy willies.
But, that's only in the summer, never seen one in the winter that I can remember, and also, you only see them where there is very little vegetation.
You notice them because of the vast amounts of dust getting sucked up, but, if there is a lot of ground cover, then there is no dust to suck up.
There are probably thousands of them that we don't see because of the ground cover.

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (SA) - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 09:08

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 09:08
Hi Uncle,
I would say yes. About 5 years ago while camping out at Old Andado Station, we had a perfect evening, not a breath of wind. At 1.30am in the morning, the camp was woken to tents being blown over, billies being tossed many metres from the camp site and our swag felt like we were going to be blown away. This all lasted less than 30 seconds but felt like eternity, then went dead calm again.Every one then spent the next 30 minutes fixings things. Next morning, one of the group that drank more than he should have the next morning said he had the strangest dream last night!!


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Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 09:19

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 09:19
Here's one that nearly got me on the Tanami!

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Reply By: wendys - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 17:12

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 17:12
In 2006-7 we worked up the Pilbara (FMG railway project). Regularly got strong willys in the middle of day. One was strong enough to lift a big transportable site building up off its blocks a couple of foot and then drop it down again. The guys having lunch inside got a big fright! Such willys come up very suddenly and do seem to be a product of differential ground/air heating as the day warms up. In the 6 months we were there, never had one at night.
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Follow Up By: Member - eerfree(QLD) - Monday, May 26, 2008 at 20:31

Monday, May 26, 2008 at 20:31
Too long ago to remember the year, we were on the Sturt Hgwy outside Hay in a Camira wagon and a willy hit us, we were pushed into the oncoming lane, Scary.

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Reply By: AdlelaideGeorge - Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 07:52

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at 07:52
My wife and camped in the Cooper Creek on the Birdsville Track last year. It was close to the converted 'landing craft' (whatever) that was used during the massive flood that ocurred some years ago - on the opposite side to the 'official' campsite.

During the night - about 10-00pm or 11-00 pm - we heard a noise like a train approaching! We were genuinely frightened - we thought that water was raging down the watercourse and about to obliterate us and our camp!

But it was 'only' a gale force willy willy. It lasted for 5 minutes or so - didn't actually damage anything but seemed very strong after a totally calm day.

Yes they do happen at night.

Happy days

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