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Snow fence

Snow fence

I have lived in the mountains of Kentucky. Granted the mountains weren’t as big as where we are in the Jura. But, we got snow. Lots of snow. Yet, I had never witnessed snow markers or snow fences (pictured above) being put up during winter.

The first time I saw a snow marker was in the Black forest of Germany. We had gotten lost on the way back from visiting a village and ended up winding our way over and through quaint little villages and scenic farms. Along the sides of the narrow country roads were these snow markers. Again, let me stress narrow and winding country roads in the Black Forest of Germany during winter with some snow. It was as scary as it was beautiful.

Later, I saw snow markers in the Vosges in Alsace, France.

The first time I saw a snow fence was about two months ago. There were and still are some up around the school near our apartment.

In the photo above, the fence is used to keep the snow from a small dirt road which is used by a farm house.

Wikipedia’s defintion:

A snow fence is a structure used to force drifting of snow to occur in a predictable place, rather than in a more natural method. Snow fences are primarily employed to minimize the amount of snow drifting onto roadways. In rural areas, farmers and ranchers may use temporary snow fences to create large drifts in basins for a ready supply of water in the spring.

When I lived in Kentucky and Ohio there were times that snow markers and snow fences would have been practical. However, I have never seen them being used in the States.

Perhaps, in places like Michigan, Colorado or Utah they are used?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Psychgrad February 19, 2008, 9:19 am

    Seems like a good idea. Although, a fence like that here would be completely covered in snow.

  • SwissGuy February 19, 2008, 11:00 am

    That’s sadly the second winter in a row with almost no snow at all. We clearly see the effect of global warming here in Switzerland.

    Ten or twenty years ago, we had no white christmas maybe once every ten years. Snowy winters would often start in november and even on the Swiss Plateau we would have 2-3 feet of snow.

    Now we have a white christmas maybe once every five years. Snow often occurs only in january and often consists of a few centimetres for a short time.

    In your (swiss) place a normal winter would mean having 1-2 metres (3-6 feet) of snow during extended periods. By the way: the coldest point in Switzerland is in that area. Normally, you should often have temperatures of -20 to -30° during nights…

  • Pumpkin February 19, 2008, 11:31 am

    Swissguy, I was told that last winter had even less snow than this winter. We got more snow this winter but I was told that it used to be much more as you stated.

    What is really scary is that the glaciers in Switzerland are melting at an alarming rate.


  • Tea and Bon Bons February 19, 2008, 5:03 pm

    I grew up in North Dakota and saw these all the time. They are everywhere — mainly because the last is so flat that the snow will drift onto roads quite easily. I didn’t see them quite so much in Wisconsin maybe because the terrain was more hilly, but I think they had them too. I live in Colorado now, but I don’t see them because I live in the city. I would assume they have them on the plains, though. I’ve never seen them in the mountains.

  • Anne Meny February 19, 2008, 6:09 pm

    We use snow fences in Illinois all the time. I don’t remember seeing them when we lived in Michigan, but MI is a lot hillier- more natural wind breaks than here in flat, flat Illinois. We have had just over 61 inches of snow here in Lake Zurich, IL. Would you like some? I am DONE with winter. Je déteste l’hiver!!!!!!! It is currently 6 degrees outside with a 8 below windchill. Yes, unfortunately, that is farenheit.

  • Pumpkin February 19, 2008, 9:00 pm

    I knew that these fences had to be used in the States somewhere! :)

  • Tanya February 21, 2008, 5:06 am

    Beautiful…I’ve never seen a snow fence, or at least not that I was aware of.

  • girl February 21, 2008, 11:01 pm

    Snow fences are used all over the midwest. I’ve seen them in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and so on–all places with no mountains.

  • expatraveler February 22, 2008, 3:33 am

    While you guys are having no snow, about 10 mins away we have had record snow falls. This year the small local hill got 532 cms of snow! Yeah that’s a ton! I haven’t gone up there once sadly, but I think this year we have had 17 days of snow and we sit at about 200m above the ocean.

    Back in 2002 and 2003, the snow would not come until early January – around my birthday 12th or a few days before. Yes there was a bit of snow in Dec, or just around Christmas but the big stuff fell mostly in Jan 10th to Feb 15th.

    In all, by middle Feb we had lots of sun and melting snow.
    Maybe it’s global warming, maybe it’s climate change. I’m not convinced which one it is yet.

  • Sarah February 23, 2008, 8:00 pm

    I’ve seen them in the open areas near the airport outside of Denver (where I once, to my surprise, also saw a wolf).

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