Short List has the article World’s First Commercially Available Flamethrower is Here.
Thanks to Randy Howard Katz for posting this on Facebook.
I remarked to him:
You Californians just don’t know what ideas over 100 inches of snow can give you. This is exactly what I was thinking about. Someone told me that you can get a flamethrower at Harbor Freight. Just don’t use it on your roof to clear ice dams.
By the way, I just went online to Harbor Freight, but could not find a flame thrower.
Facebook is just a fount of knowledge. Emin Gün Sirer answered my questions about flamethrowers.
He provided the link to the article on the xkcd web site. There are a lot of fascinating calculations in the article, but I will just pull out one that is relevant to the use of a flamethrower.
Gas mileage in the US is often measured in “miles per gallon” of gasoline. With your flamethrower guzzling fuel, your mileage would be about 17 feet per gallon.
I have an 11 gallon tank that I use to supply my snowblower, generator, and lawn tractor. That would give me 187 feet before I had to go to the gas station according to the above calculation. That’s about ⅔ of my driveway.
As for using a nuclear reactor to melt the snow, the article had a nice graphical way of showing what would be required.