Mad March weather.
29th March 2015
‘Mad March’ weather today. Hazy, warm sunshine in the morning then significantly colder with snow showers in the afternoon. Wet sleety snowfall down at Aberarder (270m), too, by 2.30pm.
A few weeks ago someone asked what ‘rollerballs’ were and how they differed from point releases. There was a covering of fresh soft snow at all levels today and when the sun came out temperatures rose steadily making the thin soft surface snow lose cohesion. Here’s a couple of photos to illustrate this:
Some people call them ‘pin wheels’, others ‘sun wheels’ or ‘roller balls’. A small disturbance to new thin soft snow that’s just at the point of melting can release a few snow grains on a journey down hill. Once rolling down a steep enough slope these proto-snowballs can gather enough snow to become quite large. Have seen sun wheels bigger than a wheelbarrow tyre. Point releases start at a point and gather more snow mass in a cascading fashion as they descend, making the shape of an uphill pointing ‘V’.
The slope in the photos above faces East; South-facing (more sun-affected) slopes below 800m had numerous point releases emanating from rocks and boulders in the snow (see an earlier blog posting for more on this surface snow phenomenon.)
The confusing weather seems to be affecting some of the wildlife! Thought the frog in the photo above was dead but he (or she?) moved…very, very slowly across the snowpatch at about 500m. Made its way to the safety of a puddle, which probably wasn’t a lot warmer!
They seem to be keeping warm… on the path itself just 50m away from the chilly chap in the previous photo.
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