Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Learning | How about that weather?

This certainly has been a strange winter. Here in San Joaquin County, we are used to colder days, with rain and fog. After all, winter is supposed to be our wet season.

"Snow Roller," taken on January 27, 2014.
From Miranda Granche's photostream
 on Some rights reserved.
While denizens of the San Joaquin Valley are enjoying unseasonably pleasant weather (but wishing for rain, because of the drought,) other parts of the United States are wishing they had a respite from the dreaded Polar Vortex.  So much snow and ice! You have seen it on the news, and in the social media. Even places that normally do not have freezing temperatures in the winter are getting snow.

A few days ago, one of my Facebook friends in Ohio posted pictures of a snow phenomenon I had never heard about: snow rollers. Some people call them snow tumbleweeds

If conditions are just right, the wind will make snowballs, all by itself. I found an article called "Mother Nature's snow balls" on one of SSJCPL's databases (EBSCO Host's Academic Search Premiere,) which explains that a combination of above-freezing temperatures and strong winds allow the softened snow to roll into balls.

"Snow rollers, snowballs made by the wind," 
from Duncan Rawlinson's photostream 
on Some rights reserved.
You can read about snow rollers and other oddities of weather if you request the following title through SSJCPL's Link+ program:

Strange But True Weather, by Stacy B. Davids

You'll find a picture of a tumbleweed in The Cowboy ABC, by Chris Demarest.

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