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Archives on the Air 284: Snowman – Robert Jairell papers

When snow and wind combine to make treacherous conditions in Wyoming, Bob Jairell is the man you need to consult. Jairell spent more than 36 years studying the control and management of blowing snow with the Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station out of Laramie.

Known as the “snowman” for his expertise, Jairell designed and built various snow diverting structures, including fences and livestock shelters. V-shaped structures, faced directly into the wind, proved to be the most effective in providing the largest shelter zone.

Jairell developed an easy to install windscreen for cattle that could withstand gusts of more than sixty miles per hour. He also advised ranchers on hay stacking, encouraging them to build V-shaped walls of hay bales which maximized shelter for cattle and most optimally controlled drifting snow.

Read the Robert Jairell Papers at UW’s American Heritage Center to learn more about the techniques that can be used to control blowing snow.