Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snow Rollers

Do you know what a "snow roller" is?  I didn't until last week either.
 
 
The ones I saw last week look very much like the ones above.  From a distance, they just look like chunks of snow, but once you get parallel with them, you can see right through them.  They look like big white donuts. 
 
 
  None of these pictures are my own because I was on a two-lane road with deep ditches on each side and there was no where to pull over and snap a picture. They need wide open spaces where the wind can blow for them to form and I only saw them in the open fields along this road.

 
They are a rare weather phenomenon which require four or five ingredients to come together at the same time.  The first condition is that the ground must be covered by a layer of ice.  Then you need wet, loose snow on top, and a temperature near freezing.  Lastly, you need 20 - 25 mph winds strong enough to get the snow rolling, but not so strong that they break the weak inner layers of the roller.  They were spotted in numerous places in Northeast and Central Ohio last week after one of the big storms. 
 
 
I really enjoyed them and wish I could have inspected them close up instead of just as a drive by.  More than likely, a "once in a lifetime" spotting.
~
All photos courtesy of Fox 8 News

7 comments:

Suzanne LakeandGarden said...

Fascinating! I grew up in deep snow country, but I never saw anything like this unusual display of nature "at play".
Suzanne

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

Oh cool, I've never seen them before!

Judy Hartman said...

I have never heard of these, but what a fascinating phenomenon! These are beautiful photos to demonstrate what you saw!

Betty W said...

I have never seen anything like that. WOW.

Liz said...

These are the neatest things! I hadn't seen them for years until this winter season.

My Garden Diaries said...

Ha! This is just fantastic!! I have never heard of these before but they are beyond fun! Giant snow donuts! My beans would love these! And I'm glad you stayed safe and didn't pull over! A very lovely weekend to you friend! Nicole xoxo

Linda@arichtapestry said...

Those snow rollers are amazing. Thank you for explaining the conditions needed to form them. Do stay safe and warm.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...