Unique snow phenomenon spotted on South Okanagan hillside | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Unique snow phenomenon spotted on South Okanagan hillside

Karen Ann Hamilton posted these photos of a rare phenomenon known as 'snow rollers' on social media recently.
Image Credit: FACBOOK / Jeff and Karen Ann Hamilton
January 06, 2021 - 11:26 AM

The new year has begun with some weather conditions in the Okanagan conducive to creating unusual meteorological phenomenon.

Jeff and Karen Ann Hamilton were on the road above Naramata when she saw what are known as ‘snow rollers' forming at the base of a hillside.

"I've never seen snow rollers or snow donuts before," Hamilton posted on a local Facebook page this week.

READ MORE: Nature's snowballs litter surface of South Okanagan lake

The photos were taken Sunday, Jan. 3, along the road between Chute Lake and Naramata.

Environment Canada meteorologist Lisa West said in a previous interview with iNFOnews they are quite rare.

"A few ingredients have to come together perfectly for them to form,” West said.

The snow needs to have just the right moisture content and strong winds are necessary in delicate balance, she says, adding snow rollers most often occur in areas of mountainous or hilly terrain where they are aided by gravity.

Similar naturally formed snow rollers were seen on a frozen South Okanagan lake in February, 2018.

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