Evaluating Snow Loads on Structures

November 5, 2015
Author(s): Pedro Sifre

The snow storms that affected the New England region in February of 2015 were, for the most part, typical Nor’easter events. However, the combination of a number of large storms, the relatively short interval between them, and the persistent cold temperatures before and after the storms resulted in numerous roof failures throughout the area. The size and trajectory of the storms created a repetition of heavy snow followed by strong northerly winds. The snow, in the cold temperatures, was relatively light and prone to transport by the wind. Northerly winds carried the light snow, resulting in accumulations at roof obstructions or changes in elevation that interrupted the southerly flow of the snow drifts. Read full topic brief.