Do You Know What a Snow Roller Is?

No, it’s not a dance move you do in the snow. A snow roller is a rare weather phenomenon where large snowballs are naturally formed when chunks of snow are blown together across the ground by the wind. They pick up additional snow as they roll causing them to get bigger in size – similar to how we create the large snowballs when building a snowman.

Credit: Jbinder via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Jbinder via Wikimedia Commons

But unlike snowballs made by humans, snow rollers are typically cylindrical in shape and are often hollow since the inner layers, which are the first to form, are weak and thin compared to the outer layers and can be blown away easily.

Credit: Slate99slate via Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Slate99slate via Wikimedia Commons

For snow rollers to form:

  • The ground must be covered by a layer of ice that snow will not stick to.
  • This layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow.
  • The temperature  of this ice layer must be 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 also move the snow rollers, making them more common in hilly areas, but the precise conditions required make snow rollers a very rare meteorological occurrence. But luckily for you, WeatherBug users across the planet have shared their snow roller photos with us, enjoy:

Submitted by: JMar via WeatherBug Photos

Submitted by: JMar via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Jay via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Jay via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Tricia Rittenhouse via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Tricia Rittenhouse via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Krista Dudgeon via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Krista Dudgeon via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Jon via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Jon via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Mark via WeatherBug Photos

Credit: Mark via WeatherBug Photos

 

We invite you to send us your favorite photos and share your moments with millions of WeatherBug users worldwide!

Stay warm & safe! Know Before™.

The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team

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This entry was posted in General, Snow, WeatherBug Photos, Winter.