2014-02-01 / Front Page


By Scott Rawdon

Photos byScot t Rawdon Photos byScot t Rawdon MILLERSPORT– What the heck’s a snow roller?

It’s an incredibly unusual winter event that happened in Millersport this week, in a flat area next to Feeder Creek Veterinary Services. According to the National Weather Service, 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). They are so rare because several specific criteria are necessary to create snow rollers:

First, ice or an icy, crusty snow must cover the ground so that fresh snow will not stick to it. Next, about an inch or so of loose, wet snow must accumulate on top of the icy ground. Finally, gusty and strong winds (but not too strong) are needed to scoop out chunks of snow and roll them along the ground.

Snow rollers range in size from a couple of inches in diameter, to as big as a 30-gallon drum. Often snow rollers are hollow in the middle, since the snow in the center is loose and wind blows it out of the roll.

Special thanks to Millerport’s Charles Miller for the news tip.

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