Rare snow rollers appear on landscape this morning

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 December 2022 at 12:53 pm

Photos courtesy of Gayle Smith

ALBION – Gayle Smith was outside her home on Wood Road in Albion this morning when she saw something she had never seen before.

Snow rollers that looked like bales of snow had formed. They are about 6 to 8 inches in diameter.

“We saw them this morning when we took the dog out for a walk,” Smith said in an email. “At first I thought there were from a snowmobile kicking up snow, but you can see the rolls start out of nowhere.”

A snow roller is considered a rare cold weather meteorological phenomenon when snow balls itself into donut-shaped spirals. National Geographic said snow rollers also are called “snow bales,” “wind snowballs,” or “snow donuts.”

The magazine said they are the cold weather equivalent of tumbleweeds, forming when wind pushes snow across the ground, gathering it into a hollow cylinder.

Smith, the Wood Road resident, said there are many of them in a field near the fairgrounds.