engineering question #4494



Amy B, a 34 year old female from the Internet asks on December 19, 2008,

Q:

It is snowing today and the wind is blowing from the east but the snow is collecting on the west side of my car. Why is that?

viewed 15294 times

the answer

Barry Shell answered on December 19, 2008, A:
This is because the pressure is lower on the West side. The snow is too light to collect on the side with the wind, the East side. On the west side there is a sort of "wind shadow" where the pressure is lower due to your car blocking the wind. Since there is less wind (lower pressure) on the lee side of your car (the west side), that is where the snow collects because it is less disturbed by wind. Here is a website that explains the physics of a snow fence: and click on the link at the bottom of that page, too.
Add to or comment on this answer using the form below.
(required)
(required if you would like a response)
Note: All submissions are moderated prior to posting.
If you found this answer useful, please consider
making a small donation to science.ca.