Airport Manager

    Welcome to the Airport Managers Blog, the exciting look into the life of an Airport Manager. Although the blog is primarily about life as an Airport Manager, detailing things about airport life, transportation, and government regulations that affect everyone there will be posts about my life, the things I do in my free time and the things I am interested in. Please feel free to comment on my posts as I’m always open to learning about your view points and what you are interested in.

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I hope you enjoy my blog and if you have any questions, comments, or just want to chat, please feel free to contact me at erick underscore dahl at hotmail dot com.

Welcome to the Airport Managers Blog!

South Dakota winter like no other

In South Dakota you can expect two things about winter: snow and blowing snow, but what happens when you take a state that in some extent relies upon winter recreation for income and there is none of the white stuff.  For the 2011-2012 winter season, South Dakota has seen less than 10 inches of snow well into March.  Only two snow storms have occurred, one prior to Thanksgiving and another just the other day.  At times there have been snow flurries that never required plowing, but now with a full snow storm behind us the ground is white and the second thing about winter in South Dakota is happening.  blowing snow.

In many ways blowing snow is worse than snow.  When you plow snow its moved and no longer an issue, but blowing snow is relentless in its quest to cover everything with a layer of snow.  Drifting and moving like a sand dune blowing snow works its way into everything.  Blowing snow can exist in two main methods. Either as pillow drifts largely disconnected from other pillow drifts or figure drifts which work their way outward from an object or sign onto a surface.  Both occur at the same time and how large the drift gets depends on wind speed, wind direction, nearby obstructions, and friction.

Wind speed and direction play the ultimate role in blowing snow. If wind speed is slow, drifting formations will occur more rapidly where as if winds are fast drifting snow isn’t as readily apparent. If the direction of the wind changes, wind itself can move the drift to a new location or removing it completely.  Think of blowing snow as a leveling force, where any change in elevation will be filled in with snow this can be especially tricky with pillow drifts where as the number of drifts increase in size, the total surface will become covered as the leveling force takes over.

Such is the case in South Dakota, if the snow event wasn’t bad enough the blowing snow that follows will ensure you many hours of plowing the same piece of pavement repeatedly until either the wind changes direction, speed, or the snow turns to ice. But ice is a different story…

posted by AirportManager on Monday, March 05, 2012 | 0 Comments | Links to this post

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