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Calculating water from snowfall  RSS feed

 
Tom Connolly
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How should snowfall be calculated in determining annual precipitation when designing a system? I know that an A frame house will get more inches of snow than flat land because of the drifting factor that comes with wind and snow.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Hey Tom, I grew up with the notion an inch of rain made a foot of snow. Maybe a google search could prove it. http://atmo.tamu.edu/class/wflm/tut/snow/snow9.html&ved=0CB4QFjAB&usg=AFQjCNHpd0QROW4RQr3oNR5Rtx2yFa0AjA
 
Tom Connolly
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I have seen that also, though the actual conversion depends on the location and time of winter - some snow is wetter than others. My concerns were more related to how much water could actually be salvaged from the snow. For example, it may snow 3' but with a stiff northern wind, the roofs of my house and utility building might only see 2' of that, whereas the land adjacent to my house might see a drift of 5' - but there is no catchment system there. An A frame, on the other hand, if oriented according to the normal wind patterns, might be able to collect 5' of snow because of its ability to catch snow that is blown horizontally. Are there any other tricks to use in the winter to catch snow? If you had a gas powered snow blower with a heat exchange on the exhaust it might be possible to "vacuum" your land and collect the water that way. Not sure how practical that would be but it does help me begin to think out of the box.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Just a thought, you could set up a snowdrift catch area using snow fence. Maybe a couple of them within a short distance running parallel. Some black poly liner to catch the winter sun to assist melting.
 
Tom Connolly
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Good idea! Or even a kind of snow swale....
 
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