An extract on #hollyhunter
In the late 20th Century, an estimated $2 billion was spent annually in North America on roadway winter maintenance, owing to snow and other winter weather events, according to a 1994 report by Kuemmel. The study surveyed the practices of jurisdictions within 44 US states and nine Canadian provinces. It assessed the policies, practices, and equipment used for winter maintenance. It found similar practices and progress to be prevalent in Europe.
The dominant effect of snow on vehicle contact with the road is diminished friction. This can be improved with the use of snow tires, which have a tread designed to compact snow in a manner that enhances traction. However, the key to maintaining a roadway that can accommodate traffic during and after a snow event is an effective anti-icing program that employs both chemicals and plowing. The FHWA Manual of Practice for an Effective Anti-icing Program emphasizes "anti-icing" procedures that prevent the bonding of snow and ice to the road. Key aspects of the practice include: understanding anti-icing in light of the level of service to be achieved on a given roadway, the climatic conditions to be encountered, and the different roles of deicing, anti-icing, and abrasive materials and applications, and employing anti-icing "toolboxes", one for operations, one for decision-making and another for personnel. The elements to the toolboxes are:
Operations Addresses the application of solid and liquid chemicals, using various techniques, including prewetting of chloride-salts. It also addresses plowing capability, including types of snowplows and blades used.
Decision-making Combines weather forecast information with road information to assess the upcoming needs for application of assets and the evaluation of treatment effectiveness with operations underway.
Personnel Addresses training and deployment of staff to effectively execute the anti-icing program, using the appropriate materials, equipment and procedures.
The manual offers matrices that address different types of snow and the rate of snowfall to tailor applications appropriately and efficiently.
Snow fences, constructed upwind of roadways control snow drifting by causing windblown, drifting snow to accumulate in a desired place. They are also used on railways. Additionally, farmers and ranchers use snow fences to create drifts in basins for a ready supply of water in the spring.
Both plant and animal life endemic to snow-bound areas develop ways to adapt. Among the adaptive mechanisms for plants are dormancy, seasonal dieback, survival of seeds; and for animals are hibernation, insulation, anti-freeze chemistry, storing food, drawing on reserves from within the body, and clustering for mutual heat.