A snow fence is a structure used to force drifting of snow to occur in a predictable place, rather than randomly or not at all. Snow fences are primarily employed to minimize the amount of snowdrift on roadways or beaches. In rural areas, farmers and ranchers may use temporary snow fences to create large drifts in basins for a ready supply of water in the spring.
A typical style of temporary snow fence seen is a cedar or other lightweight woodstrip and wire fence, also attached to metal stakes. A permanent snow fence is generally of larger wooden poles set deeply into the ground with large wooden planks running vertically across them. A permanent snow fence is built when a roadway or beachfront is subject to predictable snow and wind patterns each winter.
The drifting and accumulation of snow behind and in front of such a fence follows the laws of physics as the wind speed on the downwind side and near upwind side is less than that on the far windward side, causing light materials such as snow or leaves to settle. Amazing!