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Snow Roller by GlassHouse-1 Snow Roller by GlassHouse-1

Snow roller

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

snow roller is a rare meterological 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.

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 a 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.

Unfortunately, this photo was taken two days after these rollers were formed.  By the time I saw some, they were pretty deteriorated. This one was probably about 12" wide. There were a bunch of them in a few fields but they weren't worth trudging through the cold to get a shot.  
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:iconpolarpoisson:
polarpoisson Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2014
very abstract sculpture carved by mother nature! :D
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
If you see them when they are first formed, they look like cinnamon rolls.  This one just had the outer layer left.
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:iconkevrekidis:
Kevrekidis Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Cool shot!!! :thumbsup:
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
Thanks so much.
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:iconfashioneyes:
fashioneyes Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
This lovely photo. :clap:
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
Thank you.
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:iconconjure-digital:
Conjure-Digital Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Professional Photographer
How impossibly cool.
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014
I know, it is amazing what nature can do.  Too bad I didn't catch one that was fresh.  They look like cinnamon rolls.
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:icondavincipoppalag:
davincipoppalag Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
now that's pretty cool!!
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
I know, I was really excited to see them.  
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:icondavincipoppalag:
davincipoppalag Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
=D
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:iconslowdog294:
slowdog294 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Professional Photographer
Fascinating.
:iconspockplz:
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Thanks.  First time I ever saw these.
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:iconslowdog294:
slowdog294 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Professional Photographer
You are most welcome, dear Jeanie. I have never seen a snow roller. You taught me something new with that. :salute:
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:iconskyfiredragon:
SkyfireDragon Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014   Artisan Crafter
Nice capture!
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Thanks so much.
Reply
:iconskyfiredragon:
SkyfireDragon Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014   Artisan Crafter
:) (Smile) 
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:iconpixiethecat:
PixieTheCat Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
You wanna roll one?
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Sure but I'll wait until our next trip to Seattle.
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:iconsiochanna:
Siochanna Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014   Photographer
That is amazing.  Really cool stuff right there. 
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Thanks so much for your comment.  It is really a bizarre phenomonen.
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:iconsiochanna:
Siochanna Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014   Photographer
No problem, heh
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:iconmypeanutgallery:
MYPeanutGallery Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
Very interesting. The wind blew snow off the roofs here, they rolled along the snow on the ground and formed little balls about the size of bowling balls. I never saw anything like that before. I took a photo, but haven't taken it off the camera yet. I love how the snow sparkles in this photo of yours!
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:iconglasshouse-1:
GlassHouse-1 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014
I think they are very rare.  This is the first time I have ever heard about them being in our area.  There weren't any in my yard or right around me but we saw them about 15 miles away.  I only wish I could have seen them when they first formed.  Very, very cool.  It was so cold and the snow was so smooth and sparkly.  Can't wait to see your photo.  
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