Monday, January 27, 2014

Snow Rollers / Power Squall

Stepping outside before dawn on Saturday the 25th, I discovered that the area was treated to a surprise encounter in that a semi-rare snow roller event had occurred. Temperatures had moderated somewhat so that the snow to fall through the overnight had a slightly higher moisture content. Strong winds accompanying the system caused surface chunks to break loose and 'roll' into small orbs. The last time I witnessed this phenomena was with a big event in February of 2003 (link) and had wanted the opportunity to one day see it again. It would figure that this January on steroids would be the one to finally make it happen!

iPhone pic

As if the rollers weren't enough, a strong frontal boundary having exceptionally high winds and little to no precipitation would pass later this morning. Any snow rollers would be annihilated but this event in and of itself was of equal significance for generating near white out conditions. Area roads quickly became drifted over and treacherous even though there was no snow falling as it was old pack streaming entirely off of the fields! Pictures only tell part of the story for there were countless snow vortexes as well as a considerable amount of topsoil mixing with the snow adding to the airborne discoloration I observed.

Continuing SE, same tree as above. Seems peaceful yet I was getting "snow blasted!"

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