Wind-blown Snow as a Water Resource
How a Snow Fence Works
Basics of Blizzards and Snowdrift Control
Most blizzard snow blows through a good snow fence. Downwind of the fence wind
slows and drops the snow. The better the snow fence, the more snow it takes
from the blizzard. The best are about half solid and half openings. We say
that's 50 percent porous--lets the blizzard through, but still slows the wind.
A dam backs up water on its upstream side, but a good snow fence stores most
of its water downstream (downwind). Wind is from the left in the photo of a
12.4-ft-high, 50-percent porous snow fence in a blizzard. The diagram shows
the reduction of wind speed downwind (right in the photo) scaled with fence
height, H. For example, in the region below the line marked 60, wind speed is
reduced by more than 60 percent from what it would be without the fence
(Tabler and Jairell 1993).
To Basics of Snowdrift Control