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Sliding snow distribution

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BOCA 1996 has a nice diagram showing how the sliding snow from an upper roof is to be distributed - basically over the width of the drifted snow (Figure 1608.8 p. 168).  Unfortunately, the height of 1.4 x hd doesn't make sense because hd might be controlled by the length of the lower roof (windward drift) and the amount of sliding snow is controlled by the size of the upper roof.
IBC 2000 just refers to ASCE 7-98
ASCE 7-98 Section 7.9 doesn't give any specific direction regarding the distribution of the sliding snow although the commentary touches on it.
I'm just curious how this is normally being treated by design engineers.  Without further direction, I am tempted to just use the width of the drift - knowing that it is not an exact science. 
As always, thanks in advance for your comments.
Kenneth S. Peoples, P. E.
Lehigh Valley Technical Associates
1584 Weaversville Road
Northampton, PA 18067-9039
Phone: (610) 262-6345
Fax: (610) 262-8188
e-mail: kpeoples(--nospam--at)