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Lingering Effects of a Very Harsh Winter

Contributed by Patti Robertson, CompuWeather Forensic Order Specialist and Account Executive

Snow_On_Building_RooftopThe winter of 2013-2014 will be remembered as bitterly cold, very snowy and quite challenging.  Although it has finally loosened its grip on most of us, there are new problems that surface as Spring rains fall, at times with great intensity.  The long weeks and months of frequent snowfall and cold temperatures caused many areas to have a near constant snow cover or “snow pack”.   This snow pack, a mixture of snow and ice, lay on roofs for weeks, causing these structures to support tremendous weight from snow load.  No doubt, these unusually heavy snow loads caused stress to roofs, and cracks or holes may have developed as a result.  Now with the arrival of Spring, heavy rainfall may bring water intrusion to structures that have been damaged from supporting months of snow and ice.

CompuWeather’s meteorologists are able to provide a report for the entire winter season that provides, on a daily basis, snowfall amounts, snow depth (snow pack), the liquid equivalent of the snow depth (used to calculate the weight of the snow depth), as well as high and low temperatures.  This information is then used to determine if the roof or structure was subjected to an unusual amount of weight, causing the structure to fail.  This type of report is called a Snow Load Summary Report, and is available for any winter season.