News Sections
Audio
Snow Rollers Forming In Several Northern States
Updated January 28, 2014 6:46 AM | Filed under: Weather
 Print    Archive    RSS
rollers2.jpg
rollers1.jpg

(UNDATED) - On Monday many northern residents woke to find strange shaped snow figures in their yards and fields.

Those strange snow figures are snow rollers.

A snow roller is a rare meteorological phenomenon in which large snowballs are formed naturally as chunks of snow are blown along the ground by wind, picking up material along the way, in much the same way that the large snowballs used in snowmen are made.

Unlike snowballs made by people, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape, and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first layers to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can easily be blown away, leaving what looks like a doughnut or Swiss roll.[1] Snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as two feet in diameter.

The following conditions are needed for snow rollers to form:

The ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which snow will not stick.
The layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice.

The wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers, but not strong enough to blow them apart.

Alternatively, gravity can move the snow rollers as when a snowball, such as those that will fall from a tree or cliff, lands on steep hill and begins to roll down the hill.

Because of this last condition, snow rollers are more common in hilly areas. However, the precise nature of the conditions required makes them a very rare phenomenon



« Previous Article
Next Article »

 Print    Archive    RSS

Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to comments@wbiw.com

Advertise with 1340 AM WBIW
Advertise with 1340 AM WBIW


1340 AM WBIW, Bedford's Place To Talk. Serving Lawrence and surrounding counties since 1948!

© 2014 Ad-Venture Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.   WBIW.com and Listen Live Powered by HPC

Advertise  |  Careers  |  About  |  Feedback