What Do Donuts and Snow Have in Common?

Well…nothing really, but there are such things as snow donuts. These naturally occurring phenomena occur mostly in the open prairies of North America and in Northern Europe. They are rare because of the number of conditions that have to be satisfied for them to form.

They begin as a thick slab of snow with the surface temperature very close to its melting point. This makes the surface of the slab “sticky” to be pulled off and to be replaced by a more powdery snow forming a roll.


Its size and how smooth the donut gets all depends on wind and distance. The further the distance the roll has to roll the bigger it will get. These donuts range in sizes anywhere from a tennis ball to a meter tall. If strong winds are in the area the donut will be smooth, but with lighter winds the donuts could be a little rough around the edges.

This winter phenomenon was discovered back in 2007.


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