Wind-blown Snow as a Water Resource
Basics of Blizzards and Snowdrift Control

How a Snow Fence Works
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