Friday, January 31, 2014

Snow Rollers in Miami County

Snow Rollers at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary on January 30, 2014 in late afternoon.

We saw a clip about the snow rollers earlier in the week on the evening news.  Two staff members from the Miami County Parks were talking about the rollers at Garbry Big Woods Sanctuary.  One had been working in the parks for ten years and had never seen snow rollers in a Miami County Park.

We drove out to the sanctuary on Friday and found them in what is usually  grassy mowed area around the parking lot.

While we were there we met some of our friends.

There is an interesting hole in the middle of a lot of them.

This morning there was an article about the snow rollers on the front page of the Troy Daily News.  Included were numerous locations in Miami County where the rollers could be seen as well as an explanation of how they form.

I found a three-step explanation on Wikipedia which was very clear about the necessary conditions.
 1.  The ground must be covered by a layer of ice to which snow will not stick.
2.   The layer of ice must be covered by wet, loose snow with a temperature near the melting point of ice.
3.  The wind must be strong enough to move the snow rollers but not strong enough to blow them apart.

Other areas of the state are also reporting snow rollers in their area.  Among them are Lima, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati.

There have also been report of snow rollers in Illinois, and Pennsylvania.


  1. They are beautiful! Many thanks for the explanation on how they occur.

  2. Cool! We probably never get warm enough to see them:)