Thursday, April 16, 2009
New to Me: Snow Rollers
Of all the creepy weather-related phenomena we've discussed on this blog (lenticular clouds, the red rain of Kerala, mayor-eating groundhogs), I have never come across anything as bizarre as snow rollers.
I was blissfully unaware of their existence until approximately 8:30 this morning when I discovered these pictures from the National Weather Service.
According to Wikipedia:
"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. Snow rollers have been seen to grow as large as two feet in diameter."
I know it's just a natural phenomenon, but there's something about seeing them all lined up on the plain that really spooks me! Imagine waking up one morning to find your entire lawn covered in these things!