Best time to travel to Midwest

Snow Rollers

These huge white 'doughnuts' surely raise questions. Like, what is a 'snow roller' and where does it come from?

Snow Rollers in Midwest - Best Time
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© Steve Scordino

Winter creates lots of fascinating landscapes as well as a number of unique phenomena. A snow roller, or snow doughnut, is one of such interesting things. They are found on hilly areas and large fields. Usually, these snow rollers are formed when a small chunk of snow falls on a snow-covered terrain from a tree or a hill and begins to roll down. Then it is drawn by the wind, collecting more and more snow on its way.

Snow Rollers in Midwest - Best Season

It's similar to making a snowman. However, this phenomenon is quite rare as it needs certain weather conditions to appear. The temperature should be close to melting point. The surface of the area should be covered with ice or powder snow as a basic layer, and a thin upper layer should consist of wet and sticky snow. The wind must be strong enough to move a roller, but not strong enough to blow them apart.

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Surreal landscapes with snow doughnuts might be observed in various places across Northern states of America, Canada, as well as Northern Europe. One of the most popular places to observe a bizarre weather phenomenon is Ohio. The best time to look for these strange snowballs is mid-January to mid-March.

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