Managing Drifting Snow

Snowdrift Control
In the pages on research methods we talk about how much we learned out along Interstate 80 west of Laramie--how to match blowing snow transport with snow fence capacity, and just how far downwind of tall snow fences those snowdrifts would grow. Snowdrift control by trial-and-error can be replaced with a systematic procedure to get it right the first time. Solving each blowing snow problem follows a series of steps (Tabler 1994).
  1. Identify the problem. (Drift in driveway, corrals full of snow, house buried?)
  2. Analyze the problem. (What's the cause? Trees too close to the drive?)
  3. Identify the possible solutions. (Cut the trees? Move south? O.K., build a snow fence.)
  4. Assemble the data. (Wind direction, snowdrift volume, snowfall records).
  5. Estimate annual snow transport and direction.
  6. Determine the snow storage capacity needed to match snow transport.
We've divided the next few pages into snowdrift control around buildings, and on roads.

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