The Mad and Terrible Arkansan


From Earth Science Picture Of The Day; March 16, 2014:

Snow Rollers in Ohio and New York

Photographers: Top Photo: Bill Schultz MD - Bottom Photo: Carl Crumley; Summary Authors: Bill Schultz MD; Carl Crumley

These photos showing jellyroll-like snowballs were taken in Newcomerstown, Ohio (top) and in Honeoye Falls, New York (bottom). When conditions are just right, high winds can push a moistened snow layer into balls or rolls called snow rollers. If the wind turns, the rollers do too, as shown on the bottom photo. Trails show the path they take across the snow covered fields. The rollers can be either solid or hollow. Note that both photos show open expanses that allow the exposed snow to catch the full force of the wind. The rollers and their paths are somewhat reminiscent of the mysterious moving rocks of the Racetrack Playa in Death Valley, California. Top photo taken on January 27, 2014. Bottom photo taken on January 28, 2014.