Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thousands Of Weird Snowballs Appear On Siberian Beach

Thousands of snow and ice balls formed along a coastline
in northwestern Siberia in a rare phenomenon caused by
wind, ice in coastal waters and snow. 
Residents of a shoreline community in northern Siberia were treated to an onslaught of snowballs that appeared on the beach recently.

According to the BBC, the snowballs appeared along an 11-mile stretch of coast in the Gulf of Ob, in northwestern Siberia.

The snow and ice balls, most of them perfectly round, ranged in size from tennis balls to almost three feet across, the BBC said.

The snowballs formed from a rare process in which small pieces of ice form, and are rolled by wind and water, collecting more snow and ice along the way, to form the snowballs. Winds and temperatures must be just right to form the snow balls.

Unrelated to these, there's another phenomenon that I've seen here in Vermont called snow rollers. These are rare, too, and form when fluffy snow gets sticky when temperatures are just barely above freezing, and strong winds roll them into cylinders.

The BBC says the Siberian snow and ice balls were something people who live in Nyda, just above the Arctic Circle, said they've never seen anything like it.

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