These bizarre forms look as if they were delicately sculpted by hand – but in fact, they are the work of blustery winds across the Midwest.
‘Snow rollers’ have started sweeping into yards and fields throughout Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania thanks to the right balance of light snow, firm winds and cold temperatures.
The strange sculptures have since become a hit on Twitter and Facebook as residents across the country have shared photographs of the wispy forms and the fields where they’ve found them.
They are usually not tightly-packed enough to be picked up, but some images on Twitter show people have succeeded in taking them inside, in a bid to preserve their shapes.
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According to the National Weather Service, they are formed during the right combination of sticky snow, fairly strong winds and cold temperatures. The wind will blow a small chunk of ice along the ground, leaving it to collect more snow, layer by layer.
While wind helps to form some of the rollers, others are formed by rolling down hill.
Pictures shared on social media reveal tracks left behind the snow rollers after the came to a stop.
‘We had temps near freezing when the snow began – perhaps even a little ice formed on the top at the surface to not allow for the snow to stick and to allow it to roll,’ meteorologist Jason Nicholas told NewsNet5 in Cleveland. ‘Then the winds picked up basically rolling the snow like a snow ball.’
Janice Ford, from Lexington, Ohio, said there were snow rollers in her back yard and in a neighboring field.