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Re: Snow Density

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        The Commentaries to the National Building Code of Canada (1995 edition) indicated that snow on the ground can vary between 2 and 5 kN per cubic meter. It also suggests that snow on the roof may vary between 1 and 4.5 kN per cubic meter; the use of 3.0 kN per cubic meter is suggested as acceptable in lieu of better data.  For those not familiar with metric units the density of water is 9.81 kN per cubic meter.

        This is, of course, a very wide range of values.  Part of this difference is dou to the climatic differences between different locations.  Snow on the west coast (and probably on the east coast as well) tends to be wet and heavy while on the prairies, where it's colder during the snow storms, it tends to be drier and lighter.  I learned this the hard way.  I happened to be living in Vancouver at a time when they had one of their rare snow storms.  Arrogantly I tried to drive my car through it the same as I would have in Alberta; I soon got stuck tighter than a four inch plug in a three inch hole.

        Anyway, I hope this information is of some value.


H. Daryl Richardson

anconassoc(--nospam--at) wrote:

Anyone have a good source for the density of snow, I have a few just want to see if anyone else has other sources.  Thanks.

-Bill King, PE