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Jan. 29, 2011
Location: Frederick, MD, USA
Details:Spiral Snow Formation on Steel Wires I'd like to call them Karra Spirals. The spirals were seen all over town in Frederick MD, discovered by my wife, Karra Strickland- and we took a few photos. The guide wires on the telephone poles are spun clockwise, and the snow formations were spun anti-clockwise. The spirals at the top near the poles were longer (1m) than the spirals at the bottom (.1 -.3 meters) - (perhaps because of gravity?). But they formed continuous spirals of hardened snow (the next day they would have qualified as ice) from top to bottom of the telephone pole guide wires and were rotated OPPOSITE of the metal wire's weave. We were left scratching our heads. We had no idea how they formed, and could only guess, poorly. We also saw long "mohawks" of ice on the side of the telephone poles facing the wind, very much like rime ice. We assume the metal wires froze the nearly liquid snow, built up, and slid down the wire slowly due to gravity- forming beautiful swirly ice. It was seen miles away from our first encounter, but nowhere else that day! Background: We had a 3 to 4 hour snow event that caused Baltimore traffic to jam, and people spent up to 9 hours on the highway in town (83). Even firetrucks were unable to go up a slight grade. Ever see these before?