Snow and Ice Pooled Fund Cooperative Program (SICOP)
Drifting & Blowing Snow

AASHTO Liaison
Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator

The Strategic Highway Research Program examined the issue of drifting and blowing snow fairly extensively and produced a number of useful documents in the late 1980’s on designing various tools to minimize the impact of drifting and blowing snow on highways and travelers. Recently there have been some developments that have presented new information on this topic. This page attempts to gather this information together and make it available. If you are aware of additional information that would be of value, please notify Rick Nelson, SICOP Coordinator .


The primary document in this regard is the report prepared under NCHRP project 20-7(147) entitled “Controlling Blowing and Drifting Snow with Snow Fences and Road Design,” by Ron Tabler. The report can be downloaded here but is large (about 15 MB).

The Snow Fence Guide, developed under the SHRP program is a short but very useful starting handbook. Click on the link to access it.

Web Links

Many of the links below carry information developed by various agencies pertaining to snow fences, and in particular to living snow fences. Inclusion of a link below does not imply endorsement by AASHTO.

CSU Extension – Windbreaks & Living Snow Fence (2014)

Minnesota DOT – Living Snow Fence (2016)

CTRE at Iowa State University: Managing Drifting Snow (2001)

SUNY – Environmental Science & Forestry: Designing, Developing & Implementing a Living Snow Fence Program for New York State (2015)

SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry – Living Snow Fence Design  (2013)

USDA National Agroforestry Center – Living Snow Fence (2011)

University of Iowa: Living Snow Fences (2006)

University of Minnesota: Analysis of Snow Climatology

University of Minnesota Extension Service: Living Snow Fences (2011)

University of Wyoming – How to Plan and Plant a Living Snow Fence (2011)