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    Snow Rollers - Mason, Ohio

    02/13/2003


    Photographer's description not available

    Photographer Don Hughes, NWS Wilmington
    Date taken February 13, 2003
    Location Mason, Ohio (Warren County)     map
    Event Snow rollers

    Additional notes
    Snow rollers are a rare meteorological phenomenon, in which strong winds blow chunks of snow or ice along the ground, causing them to accumulate snowpack as they roll (much like building a snowman).  There are several criteria which must be met to favor snow rollers:
    • The ground must be covered by ice or an icy, crusty snow, so that fresh snow will not stick to it.

    • About an inch or so of loose, wet snow must accumulate on top of the icy ground.

    • Gusty and strong winds are needed to scoop out chunks of snow and roll them along the ground.

    Snow rollers range in size from an couple of inches in diameter, to as big as a 30-gallon drum.  Many times snow rollers may be hollow in the middle, since the snow in the center is loose and gets blown out of the roll.

    Related NWS Product: None



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