Development of a Snow Load Alert System, “YukioroSignal” for Aiding Roof Snow Removal Decisions in Snowy Areas in Japan
Hiroyuki Hirashima*1,, Tsutomu Iyobe*2, Katsuhisa Kawashima*3, and Hiroaki Sano*4
*1Snow and Ice Research Center, National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED)
Suyoshi, Nagaoka-shi, Niigata 940-0821, Japan
*2Research & Development Center, East Japan Railway Company, Saitama, Japan
*3Research Institute for Natural Hazards & Disaster Recovery, Niigata University, Niigata, Japan
*4National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience (NIED), Ibaraki, Japan
This study developed a snow load alert system, known as the “YukioroSignal”; this system aims to provide a widespread area for assessing snow load distribution and the information necessary for aiding house roof snow removal decisions in snowy areas of Japan. The system was released in January 2018 in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, and later, it was expanded to Yamagata and Toyama prefectures in January 2019. The YukioroSignal contains two elements: the “Quasi-Real-Time Snow Depth Monitoring System,” which collects snow depth data, and the numerical model known as SNOWPACK, which can calculate the snow water equivalent (SWE). The snow load per unit area is estimated to be equivalent to SWE. Based on the house damage risk level, snow load distribution was indicated by colors following the ISO 22324. The system can also calculate post-snow removal snow loads. The calculated snow load was validated by using the data collected through snow pillows. The simulated snow load had a root mean square error (RMSE) of 21.3%, which was relative to the observed snow load. With regard to residential areas during the snow accumulation period, the RMSE was 13.2%. YukioroSignal received more than 56,000 pageviews in the snowheavy 2018 period and 26,000 pageviews in the less snow-heavy 2019 period.
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