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Snow Depth

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Snow loads for the 97 UBC are covered in the Appendix for chapter 16.  Given
the ground snow load and using these formulas you can determine the "height"
of the base of the snow, and "height" of the drift of the snow.  These
heights are based on a density of snow up to a maximum of 35 pcf.

I have a project with windows and exhaust vents that are subject to being
buried by snow drifts.  Is using a height determined from the appendix
unconservative for placing windows and exhaust vents? 

Anyone with some experience with this?  Any good references that talk about
how these values are determined?  

Matt