Snow bales seen in the UK

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Also known as snow rollers, snow bales and snow doughnuts, they form mostly in unusual conditions created by a precise combination of snow, ice, wind, temperature and moisture on the prairies of North America.

But this week’s frozen weather has allowed the snow cylinders to make a freak appearance in the UK.

Ron Trevett, 55, and his wife Aileen, 54, readers of The Daily Telegraph, were stunned when they stumbled across the mysterious formations as they walked their dogs in a field near their home in Yeovil, Somerset.

“We saw them from a distance on the ridge of the field, and we thought some kids had been playing up there and making giant snowballs,” said Mr Trevett.

“But when we got up there we saw there were no footprints and there were hundreds of them – too many for children to have done it. We realised it must have been the wind.”

Frank Barrow, a lecturer in meteorology at the Met Office, said the rolls can only form in a precise set of unusual conditions.

After being formed, the rolls eventually become too large and heavy for the wind to move, or are halted by rising ground or a tuft of vegetation.

Liz Bentley, of the Royal Meteorological Society, said despite their rarity in the UK, there is a chance of more snow rolls appearing over the next few days.

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