Best time to travel to Midwest

Snow Rollers in Midwest

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

Best time: mid-January–mid-March

Snow Rollers
Snow Rollers

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.

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.

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.

Practical info

Where can I see snow rollers in the Midwest?

Various places in the Northern states of America including the Midwest region have snow rollers. These peculiar snowballs can be seen in Ohio, Toronto, Utah, and other parts of the United States and Canada located in the North. Show more

What are the weather conditions that cause snow rollers to form?

For the creation of snow rollers, specific weather conditions are needed which are a base layer of ice or powdered snow covered by a thin layer of wet, sticky snow. Due to this, temperatures should be almost at melting point with strong wind enough to move the snow while preventing it from blowing apart. Show more

When is the best time to visit Ohio to see snow rollers?

The best time to observe snow rollers in Ohio is from mid-January to mid-March, as these icy marvels come into view when the temperature is nearly melting point and the wind speed is not so forceful. However, visitors may also find others during this season in Northern America and Canada. Show more

Are snow rollers only found in the Midwest?

Snow rollers are one-of-a-kind phenomena found in several areas of Northern America and Europe, including the Midwest. They can be seen in other parts of Canada and the United States located in the North, such as Ohio, Toronto, and Utah, so it's incorrect to state that they're exclusive to the Midwest. Show more

How big do snow rollers typically get?

Snow rollers' size can vary depending on the weather conditions and terrain. While some are small-sized, comparable to a small snowball, others come in bigger sizes, such as a large beach ball. Additionally, huge snow rollers could have an exceeding width of 2 feet or weigh over 50 pounds. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin