The saltation length of aeolian snow particles and a new parameter, the ejection factor, which expresses the degree of erosion due to drifting snow, were obtained as functions of friction velocity by means of wind-tunnel experiments for semi-hard snow cover. The saturated-snowdrift transport rate was also obtained experimentally as a function of friction velocity. Based on these characteristics and the parameter, the development of the saltation layer of drifting snow along the fetch was simulated under various conditions such as snow hardness, wind speed and snowfall intensity. The main results are as follows. The developing distance denoting the distance required for the saltation layer to attain saturation, X sat, is determined by saltation length, ejection factor and saturated-snowdrift transport rate, all of which depend on wind speed. It is also affected by the magnitude of snowdrift transport rate at the starting point and by the intensity of snowfall if it exists. The dependence of Xsat on wind speed is not simple in the case of semi-hard snow cover: Xsat increases with wind speed under weak to moderate wind conditions and then decreases under moderate to strong wind conditions. It is sensitive to snow hardness: it is about one order longer on hard snow cover than on semi-hard snow cover. Snowfall reduces not only the value of Xsat but also its dependence on snow hardness.