Roll 'em Roll 'em Roll 'em…keep that snow a rollin!

Some of our younger readers may not get the title, and may never have seen a TV show in black and white. The answer is at the end of the article. Here’s an interesting weather phenomenon on the prairie – snow rollers!

From the NWS in Spokane, WA

(h/t to Mike D)

Snow Rollers on the Camas Prairie

March 31 2009

On the evening of March 31st, 2009, Tim Tevebaugh was driving home from work east of Craigmont in the southern Idaho Panhandle (see map below). Across the rolling hay fields, Tim saw a very unusual phenomenon. The snow rollers that he took pictures of are extremely rare because of the unique combination of snow, wind, temperature and moisture needed to create them. They form with light but sticky snow and strong (but not too strong) winds. Some snow rollers are formed by gravity (i.e. rolling down a hill), but in this case, the snow rollers were generated by the wind.

These snow rollers formed during the day as they weren’t present in the morning on Tim’s drive to work.

Based on estimations from Tim as well as the blades of grass in the picture, most of the snow rollers were about 18″ in height, while the largest rollers were about 2 feet tall.

Click on the thumbnails below for a full-size image.

Snow Rollers - Click for larger image Snow Rollers - Click for larger image

Snow Rollers - Click for larger image Snow Rollers - Click for larger image

Snow Rollers - Click for larger image Location of Snow Rollers - click for larger view

OK figured out the title yet?

If not here is a hint:

And here is the original TV show and theme.

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Fred2
May 20, 2009 7:52 pm

Very cool!

Robert Wykoff
May 20, 2009 8:00 pm

Insanely way cool

Basil
Editor
May 20, 2009 8:06 pm

Rawhide!
I didn’t have to look. That says something about how old I am.

May 20, 2009 8:07 pm

Rowdy Yates.

Tom
May 20, 2009 8:13 pm

It’s ALIENS!!! First crop circles and now this, it’s a warning about the irrevocable harm we’re doing to the environment. Quick, hide these from Al, he’ll recognize them as another sign of the coming global apocalypse!

Pamela Gray
May 20, 2009 8:17 pm

keerrrrr…SNAP!

May 20, 2009 8:18 pm

I thought it was “Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’..” for the Rawhide theme.
http://www.televisiontunes.com/Rawhide.html
Sure sounds like “Rollin'” to me.

George M
May 20, 2009 8:19 pm

Gil Faver (sp?) was the trail boss.

May 20, 2009 8:26 pm

Yee Haaa. Rawhide. Love Frankie Laine. The Blues Brothers can’t hold a candle to him.

Graeme Rodaughan
May 20, 2009 8:49 pm

Based on estimations from Tim as well as the blades of grass in the picture, most of the snow rollers were about 18″ in height, while the largest rollers were about 2 feet tall.
It is not widely known that 18″ snow rollers are within the bounds of natural variability.
However 2 foot tall snow rollers are definently not natural and must be a result of man made emissions of CO2.
These unprecendentally large and robust snow rollers are, without a shadow of a doubt, a direct consequence of Man’s Rampant Pollution!
The consequences of such large and robust snow rollers are too horrifying to contemplate – but I’ll give it a shot.
2 foot high snow rollers are large enough to engulf small pets, it has been predicted by climate models that such snow rollers could entirely smother the average weiner dog. It is predicted that fields of snow rollers will become weiner dog graveyards with the poor animals wedged inside the snow rollers – frozen into a strange “cold dog” shape.
Their poor little noses poking out one end of the white snow roller, and their thin little tails, rigid with the cold, out the other end.
As I have remarked earlier – too horrific to contemplate.
I can only shake my head at the sheer folly of man – when will we ever learn to not mess with Mother Nature…

John F. Hultquist
May 20, 2009 8:49 pm

Well, I named a birddog ‘Rawhide’ partly because he was the color of leather (and white) and so I could sing out to him as he ran. Nice song.
The natural world is capable of wondrous things. It would be a good idea if our elected folks didn’t have so much serious business to conduct – capping and trading and raising money – so they could get out and see things like these snow rollers. They might even notice the lack of evidence for AGW. Oh well, won’t happen.
Should mention that the ‘southern Idaho Panhandle’ means the south part of the Panhandle which is the north part of the State.

MikeinAppalachia
May 20, 2009 8:57 pm

Had a bunch of these (albeit smaller) across my front lawn (SE Ohio) a few years ago. Neat! And I think Alberts is correct-“Rollin’…”.

Andy Beasley
May 20, 2009 9:04 pm

These are cool! Don’t know what the wind has to be to form these; but, the last two weeks have been miserable in SE Idaho. Last week we recorded a 68 MPH gust with 55-60 mph sustained. We lost half of a Russian Olive tree outside my office and those things are tough. It split right down the middle of the trunk. The winds have been over 40 for 5 or 6 of the last 10 days.
Andy

Leon Brozyna
May 20, 2009 9:23 pm

Snow rollers – those pics more impressive than any snow I’ve seen rolling. There’s more to nature than meets the eye.
Hey, I remember Rawhide … and before that, The Honeymooners … and before that, I Love Lucy … and before that … well, you get the idea.

timetochooseagain
May 20, 2009 9:27 pm

I’ve never seen snow period, except in the pictures. But that is pretty cool.
(I live in South Florida and I post date the “Day it Snowed in Miami” (which was proof of global cooling back then 😉 ))

Tom Nally
May 20, 2009 9:31 pm

The fact that this occurrence was observed on March 31st (the day before April Fool’s Day) made me a little skeptical.
But knock me in the head with a snow shovel! A snow roller event occurred in my home area, Central Illinois, in February of 2003:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ilx/events/roller/roller.php

tokyoboy
May 20, 2009 9:35 pm

Rawhide……..a reeeaaaally good memory of my childhood.

Editor
May 20, 2009 10:02 pm

Something that is even weirder than snow rollers are “The Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa,” see http://geology.com/articles/racetrack-playa-sliding-rocks.shtml
Slide ’em, slide ’em, slide ’em, rock on!

Noelene
May 20, 2009 10:03 pm

Graeme Rodaughan
I like your sense of humour.Thanks for the laugh.

Timebandit
May 20, 2009 10:06 pm

Lyrics
” Through rain and wind and weather… Hell bent for leather”
Mmmm, Makes ya think… don’t it???

page48
May 20, 2009 10:07 pm

Wow! Bales of snow! Learn something new every day. Thanks for the pics

Konrad
May 20, 2009 10:08 pm

Amazing images! I’ve never seen anything like this.
Rolls of empirical climate data awaiting transport to a secure government facility?

Alan the Brit
May 20, 2009 10:42 pm

How beautiful! Well if that’s global warming lets have more of it if it can produce such wonderfully natural art. Or is it????????? How are they actually formed?
Yes Rawhide, what a great show that made me dream of being a cowboy! Then of course there was Waggon Train, what ever happened to that handsome young mand who played Rowdy? I expect he’s dissappeared into obscurity now as a bit-part actor! Shame really he could have gone on to something bigger & better I felt. Oh well………….

Richard deSousa
May 20, 2009 11:32 pm

Alan the Brit: I’m assuming you’re kidding. Of course you do remember Rowdy Yates was played by Clint Eastwood, right? Since then Eastwood hasn’t been very obscure… LOL Who wudda thunk Clint would become one of Hollywood’s finest film directors… certainly not me!

May 20, 2009 11:38 pm

I called my son in to see these pictures and he summed it up perfectly – “Wow, whoa, wicked!”

Richard Heg
May 21, 2009 12:04 am

Makes me think of the moving stones in death valley.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/11/death-valley/cahill-text/3

David Q.
May 21, 2009 12:48 am

OT I can’t help this, but what happened to those Eco Sailors? Did they arrive in the U.S.? How do they plan to return to the U.K.? I can’t help but resist this question.
Moderator: I simpy don’t know where to post this question. You can erase it if you want.
Thanks!

tallbloke
May 21, 2009 1:39 am

M. Simon (20:26:22) :
Yee Haaa. Rawhide. Love Frankie Laine. The Blues Brothers can’t hold a candle to him.

“We got both kinds of music here. We got Country and Western.”
Lol.

Julie
May 21, 2009 2:04 am

We get them here in Scotland as well – some were seen back in February this year.
http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1065363

UK Sceptic
May 21, 2009 3:05 am

Alas, I understood the joke and remember the show. There’s nothing like nostalgia for making you feel your age.
Thanks…

Alan the Brit
May 21, 2009 4:22 am

Richard deSousa:-))
Yep I was indeed being sarcastic. It never twigged with me until a sister-in-law of mine who was a big big fan of his pointed it out to me much later! I seem to recall she had some magazine about the show or something that had all the info on it. I also recall my parents swearing black was white that they’d never heard of him yet were avid fans of Waggon Train themselves. There I was, sitting on the arm of the sofa, cowboy hat on, chrome-plated six-gun in hand loaded with a 20 round roll of caps, my little plastic gun belt strapped on, I was ready to win the West single-handed every weekend! Why on earth did I not become that gun-toting psychotic mass-murderer after watching all those cowboy programmes that young children aren’t allowed to watch today because of the risks involved to their mental stability?
David Q:-0
Are you referring to those British eco-prats who had to be rescued by an oil tanker a short while into their doomed adventure,? It was covered on this blog a while ago, & I missed it too they’re so quick on the draw on this site! Or is there yet another waste of time, energy, & money, going on? Do enlighten me if so:-))
Julie:-))
That’s amazing, I didn’t recall that reaching the msm & Beeb at the time! Did it make it out there as it certainly should have?

Hugo
May 21, 2009 4:47 am

I think the actor that played Rowdy Yates made a lot of money in Spaghetti. According to the Cowboy Lyrics site, it is Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’. http://www.cowboylyrics.com/lyrics/laine-frankie/rawhide-12547.html

Les Francis
May 21, 2009 5:22 am

My cousin, who is married to a farmer, calls the rolled up hay bales Elephant tu*ds.
Obviously these are going to be – Polar bear Tu*ds

Alan the Brit
May 21, 2009 5:37 am

Sorry folks, that should have read ‘Rawhide’ & not ‘Waggon Train’, but they were both great shows, along with Laramie!!!!! Yaaahoo!

Les Francis
May 21, 2009 5:39 am

Hugo (04:47:25) :
I think the actor that played Rowdy Yates made a lot of money in Spaghetti.

I think that spaghetti and Harry “made his day”

Alan the Brit
May 21, 2009 5:52 am

Slightly O/T
I have just read an article by John Casey of SSRC in Orlando, about NASA saying that cooling could be the new climate trend for the next few years. This was dated Jan 13th 08! I haven’t seen this before, & don’t recall it being picked up here or elsewhere. Could this have been suppressed by a higher authority, & only now let slip through to public notice? Or am I just getting paranoid?

Alan the Brit
May 21, 2009 6:09 am

Sorry wrong show, that should have been Rawhide of course!

Paul
May 21, 2009 6:49 am

Do they store thum thar bails of snow for the summer???

Bill P
May 21, 2009 7:41 am

Hey, I remember Rawhide … and before that, The Honeymooners … and before that, I Love Lucy … and before that … well, you get the idea.

“How now, brown cow?”

Mike Bryant
May 21, 2009 8:41 am

I’m with Graeme on this one, these snow rollers of death are the definite proof of CAGW. I am turning off the utilities at my house. I was thinking about selling all my cars but then someone else could use them. Then I thought, hey, I can burn them… but no that would be bad too. So I will bury them in my back yard. I won’t eat any more meat except neighborhood pets, of course. This new way of life is looking better and better all the time! 🙂
The eternal optimist,
Mike

Fred2
May 21, 2009 8:51 am

“I won’t eat any more meat except neighborhood pets, of course.”
-Free to good home.- Four words to make you salivate.

Ray
May 21, 2009 9:32 am

MOre signs that global warming is so passé. We could expect more tumbleweeds if there was global warming, but seeing those at the end of May is believing… in global cooling. Please send those pictures to Al Gore… here’s a snow roll-up Al!

Benjamin
May 21, 2009 10:10 am

Tom (20:13:35) : “It’s ALIENS!!! First crop circles and now this, it’s a warning about the irrevocable harm we’re doing to the environment. Quick, hide these from Al, he’ll recognize them as another sign of the coming global apocalypse!”
Ah crap, and I was going to say those rollers were awesome-looking! Now I gotta run and hide from what my humanity has wrought on this planet , what so raked the ire of all those much-more-advanced tree-huggers in the galactic neighborhood : (
(runs away from all my evil CO2 emissions, but trips and rolls in the snow)
AGH! One of ’em got me boys! Its got me! Its got me! Damn you industrial society for bringing this fate on us all!!! AAAGGGHHH!!!
(pokes head out from the snow monster’s maw).
But oddly enough, global warming isn’t saving me by melting this beast?! Huh.. must only work for if you have Al Gaia’s…er… Al Gore’s favor, I guess. So the moral of the story is, kiddies, that you too can find salvation even as global warming is killing you
… but you better hurry and cap and trade now, before it’s REALLY too late! (disappears back into the snow beast)

May 21, 2009 10:11 am

cool, interesting stuff!

Mike Bryant
May 21, 2009 10:13 am

Ray… that’s the end of March…

George E. Smith
May 21, 2009 10:34 am

Ah it’s all fake, I tell ya. Some sheep farmer was going to fence off some range land from the cowpokes, so he trucked out a bunch of wire netting rolls and dumped them; so it snowed while he was back getting the fence posts.
If them things was natural they’d be hexagonal symmetry and not circular; it’s wirte netting I say.
George

Tim Clark
May 21, 2009 11:12 am

I saw these on a episode of “Lost in Space”, or it might have been talked about by “Mr. Ed”.

Gary Hladik
May 21, 2009 11:28 am

Graeme Rodaughan (20:49:23) :
“These unprecendentally large and robust snow rollers are, without a shadow of a doubt, a direct consequence of Man’s Rampant Pollution!”
We didn’t listen!

OceanTwo
May 21, 2009 11:31 am

Andy Beasley (21:04:02) :
These are cool! Don’t know what the wind has to be to form these; but, the last two weeks have been miserable in SE Idaho. Last week we recorded a 68 MPH gust with 55-60 mph sustained. We lost half of a Russian Olive tree outside my office and those things are tough. It split right down the middle of the trunk. The winds have been over 40 for 5 or 6 of the last 10 days.
Andy

Look at all that wind power not being harnessed!…oh, wait…
But, yes, those snow-dogs do look really wild.

John Costello
May 21, 2009 11:52 am

Alan the Brit–
Here in the US it was “Wagon Train.”
I also believe Eric Fleming’s character was “Gil Favor” with the same o as in Colonel.
Alas Rawhide has not been put up on Fancast or Hulu. I know there were some tapes released years ago, but I don’t know if it’s on DVD.

Ray
May 21, 2009 11:58 am

OceanTwo (11:31:19) :
Andy Beasley (21:04:02) :
The winds have been over 40 for 5 or 6 of the last 10 days.
————
I can feel what you are going through. Here in the Fraser Valley we had non-stop high winds when winter started back in December. It’s amazing how unsettled people feel when you are in that sort of weather. It get’s under your skin and it give truth to what they say… wind can drive someone crazy.

Stephen Brown
May 21, 2009 12:52 pm

“Rawhide” was a huge favourite of mine once TV arrived in Northern Rhdesia. It was popular with everyone, Just like “I Love Lucy” and other popular USA programs.

Stephen Brown
May 21, 2009 12:55 pm

I know it is OT but it DOES concern the wind and it demonstrates the Law of Unintended Consequences (if true).
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8060969.stm

James P
May 21, 2009 2:43 pm

Wind farm ‘kills Taiwanese goats’
I heard about this at work, and my first thought was that perhaps they’d sited the rotors a bit too low down…
Sounds more to me like a try-on for compensation by the farmers.
http://www.hargeysa.org/The%20Great%20Hargeisa%20Goat%20Bubble.htm
You can even hear this performed here, but probably not for much longer:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00k9p0w/Afternoon_Play_The_Great_Hargeisa_Goat_Bubble/
(For those not familiar with the BBC streaming service, the programme overlaps slightly with the previous one, so the first minute isn’t relevant.)

Pat
May 21, 2009 6:48 pm

More evidence of global warming…NOT!
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2431269/Cold-front-blasts-away-autumn
And I know how cold it can get in Wellington, that’s why on the very southern tip of the north island, just around the corner from Island Bay, there is the Brass Monkey Cafe. Nuff said!

Steve Schaper
May 21, 2009 7:32 pm

Wow! They bale snow in Idaho! Who’d a thunk it?

Pat
May 21, 2009 7:36 pm
Andy Beasley
May 21, 2009 8:39 pm

Ray (11:58:42) :
Not only under the skin. We have a lot of volcanic ash around here. It gets in the eyes, too.

David Q.
May 21, 2009 9:47 pm

Alan
They are the ones! But there was a mention that they would arrive in the U.S. because that was the direction of the Oil Tanker.
I wonder, wonder….

David Q.
May 21, 2009 9:55 pm

OT, again, sorry!! Last one.
Here is the update on those Eco-Sailors:
http://shipsinport.wordpress.com/2009/05/09/overseas-yellowstone/
I googled the tanker Overseas Yellowstone. The web site shipsinport.wordpress.com listed them in a short news item. The Eco-Sailors “are set to fly home to the UK from Portland”. Now that is pathetic…

David Q.
May 21, 2009 10:01 pm

OT, one more!!
They have found the sailing boat. It is still afloat. I think them Eco’s where a bit quick to abandon their quest.
http://www.thisisjersey.com/2009/05/19/look-what-weve-found/
Sorry, moderator!
[Hate to snip for mere OT. BUT we have to be more directed as volume expands. Please try to stay on topic. ~ Evan]

PaulH
May 23, 2009 1:57 pm

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in their prime! Those were the days. 🙂

June 10, 2009 1:49 pm

roll’em, roll ’em, roll’em, keep those blunts a rollin’, roll ’em, roll ’em, roll ’em, get high. Crack open a 40 so we can all get haughty, roll ’em, roll ’em, roll’em, get high.
That’s a version from about 10 years ago by a rap group. 🙂

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