Where do snow rollers come from and what are they?

What are those strange piles of snow?

In the winter, if you are driving along a road with snow, you may have seen a strange shape in a field. It’s called a “snow roller,” and it’s basically a snowball that the wind has rolled up. Art made by nature out of snow.

You can sometimes see them spread out across large fields of snow. They look like the winter version of a hay roll, but they’re not that big.

Image: @pryzant on Instagram

The National Weather Service says that a “snowroll” or “snow roller” is a very rare weather event. It happens when chunks of snow are blown along the ground by the wind, making big snowballs that happen naturally.

How do snow rollers come into being?

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You get snow rollers when you put cold weather, snow, and wind in the right place. People also call them “snow doughnuts,” but they can only form in particular kinds of winter weather.

Basically, the wind picks up a small piece of snow and moves it, gathering more and more snow as it goes. These strange snow shapes are like tumbleweeds when it’s cold outside. A hollow cylinder is made when the wind moves snow across the ground.

Image: @sethcolter on Instagram

The bigger ones can be a few inches wide and stretch for a couple of feet. The balls leave trails behind them that stand out in a field of snow that is otherwise flat.

Snow rollers need very particular conditions to work.

Image: @pryzant on Instagram

As was already said, snow rollers happen when the right amount of moisture, snow, temperature, and wind come together. In addition to these things, the snow on the ground must also be in a certain way.

Image: @pryzant on Instagram

For a snow roller to form, there must be a thin layer of ice on the ground and a light dusting of snow. The next thing to think about is how the land is laid out. No plants or other things must stick out. For the snow rollers to form, they need a path.

Photo: @m_wahrheit on instagram

The snow dusting needs to be wet enough to stick to itself but not so wet that it sticks to the ground. Also, the wind must be about 30 miles per hour for the cylinder to form in the snow.

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On top of that, the temperature must be three to five degrees above freezing. No more, no less. This temperature is perfect because it lets rolling snow form but keeps it from melting.

Because of this, you can see neat little rolls dotting the horizon, which makes you think about how amazing nature is.

Image: @spicolialways on Instagram

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