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Holy Snow Rollers! Strange Snowballs Invade the US

Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, CO2emissions, ecosystems, environment, globalwarming, healthconditions, snow balls )

- 1606 days ago -
A strange and rare winter weather marvel appeared overnight in Eastern states blasted by blustery winds -- snow sculpted into fanciful shapes such as doughnuts and hollow tubes.

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Kit B (276)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 9:46 am
Photo Credit: Cassie Imhoff

A strange and rare winter weather marvel appeared overnight in Eastern states blasted by blustery winds — snow sculpted into fanciful shapes such as doughnuts and hollow tubes.

Known as snow rollers, the delicate formations are as light as meringues and may crumble when touched, but others are icy enough for play. They were a social media phenomenon today (Jan. 27), sweeping Twitter and Facebook as people from Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania posted images of their yards dotted with strange snowballs.

According to the National Weather Service, snow rollers need just the right combination of light, sticky snow, strong (but not too strong) winds and cold temperatures to form. It's been about 10 years since snow rollers were reported in western Pennsylvania, but snow rollers appeared in near Spokane, Wash., in 2009.

Like a snowball spinning downhill in a cartoon, picking up size, snow rollers grow layer by layer as they're rolled along by the wind. Sometimes they do roll downhill, but in this case, wind created the mysterious, hollow snow tubes.

Pictures posted online show tracks in the snow left behind as the snow rollers swept across snowy yards and golf courses.

The snow rollers are the latest in a string of strange winter weather events this month. After the polar vortex dropped temperatures in early January, Lake Michigan birthed its annual crop of giant ice balls. The ice balls form as freezing lake water is tumbled by waves, forming spheres. The coastline of Lake Superior froze as well, allowing hikers to head out to icy sea caves near Wisconsin's Apostle Islands. And the New Year started with a bang in Canada when frost quakes were reported throughout Ontario. When the polar vortex swept through, the cold air rapidly froze water in the ground, causing ice to expand and crack in frost quakes.

By: Becky Oskin | Live Science |


Sue Matheson (79)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 10:58 am

JL A (281)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 1:22 pm
Wondrous to behold

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 28, 2014, 4:28 pm
This can't be normal...but it's a beautiful sight! Thx Kit

Craig Pittman (52)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 5:04 am
Fascinating. I wonder, had this occurred in a church yard would they be designated as holy rollers? lol Thanks Kit.

pam w (139)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 8:32 am

Sheila D (194)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 11:57 am
Living in MN I thought I'd seen almost all forms snow can take...except these. Amazing. Thanks for sharing them. Without aTV, and no social sites, hadn't seen these or even heard of this before.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 12:28 pm
I love these...nature is amazing!

David C (129)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 12:29 pm
cool, thanks.

Colleen L (3)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 12:29 pm
Mother Nature sure has been doing some strange things. I wonder if someone upset her...because I remember always hearing the old saying, "It's not nice to fool or mess with Mother Nature." Thanks Kit

By the way, it's nice to see that I'm getting the daily Care2 newsletters had been over 10 days since the last one I received.

Malgorzata Zmuda (200)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 12:30 pm
oryginalne i ciekawe, dzięki

Amy L (112)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 12:35 pm
Very pretty indeed!

S S (0)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 1:09 pm
Thank you.

linda b (186)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 1:13 pm
I wonder if the fairies were up to mischief Kit, Amazing thanks for sharing.

Birgit W (160)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 1:33 pm
Interesting, thanks for sharing Kit. We certainly have enough snow where I live, but I have never seen snow rollers.

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 1:47 pm
Noted. Thanks, Kit. Amazing pix. (BTW, 1st day I've gotten a daily mailing in a week, too!)

Connie O (44)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 2:09 pm
Very cool! ty

Ellen Kent (0)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 2:49 pm
Thanks for the cool info. Never heard of or saw snow rollers before.

Teresa García (40)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 3:08 pm
Very interesting! :)

Ann Breeden (65)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 3:10 pm
I've never seen these before. When I enlarged the picture attached I just went, Wow!" I think the fairies did indeed have something to do with it or maybe Mother Nature just wanted to up us one. Regardless, they were awesome.

Muriel Servaege (53)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 3:59 pm
Thank you, Kit.

Angeles M (298)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 5:18 pm
Nature is amazing! Thank you!

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 6:12 pm
my buddy's mother makes USA Dollars----85 /hour on the laptop . She has been without a job for eight months but last month her payment was USA Dollars----18133 just working on the laptop for a few hours. over at this website

Jeremy S (3)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 7:36 pm
The wonders of Mother Nature are fascinating! And humans, with all our technology, can't even reproduce a snowflake...

Sheri Schongold (7)
Wednesday January 29, 2014, 9:28 pm

Sylvie A (193)
Thursday January 30, 2014, 3:43 am
Notée. Merci du partage.

Lin Penrose (92)
Thursday January 30, 2014, 9:48 am
Thanks very much Kit. Shows that Nature can have "fun" too as well as being the world's best Artist!

Arlene C (40)
Saturday February 1, 2014, 4:48 pm
lu et merci

Leanne B (46)
Sunday February 2, 2014, 12:10 am
That must be a sight to see. Thanks for posting.

Shera D. (0)
Thursday February 20, 2014, 9:58 pm
thats nice :) tnx for post it :)
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