A whirlwind or dust storm.
- ‘Hurricanes are called typhoons when occurring in the Pacific Ocean and willy-willies in Australia.’
- ‘Later on as the willy-willy gallops across the country, whirling a column of dust, trees lash their branches to warn man of the oncoming storm.’
- ‘Often the topsoil was easy to see because it was blowing around in the air, in willy-willies like mini-tornadoes.’
- ‘On the same day that it's icy cold in the Artic, it's foggy in Louisiana, sunny in Barbados, and blowing wild winds called willy-willies in Australia.’
- ‘In the United States tornadoes are referred to as twisters, but in Australia we call them willy-willies, or cock-eyed Bobs.’
From Yindjibarndi (an Aboriginal language of western Australia) or Wemba-wemba (an Aboriginal language of SE Australia).