Toward predicting expressway closures due to blowing snow events

This study aimed to improve the estimation of blowing snow events for predicting expressway closures. The Japan Meteorological Agency mesoscale model analysis with a grid resolution of 5 km was dynamically downscaled to 1 km using the SCALE meteorological model in the domain including Hokkaido, Japan, in the period from 1 November 2017 to 28 February 2018. This study focused on the E5 expressway, run by East Nippon Expressway Co., Ltd., in Hokkaido, where closures frequently occur as a result of low visibility due to blowing snow in winter. The blowing snow potential was evaluated in terms of the minimum driver visibility estimated by an empirical relation among wind speed, air temperature, and snowfall intensity. Because the downscaling overestimated wind speed, a simple bias correction was applied. The downscaling produced small-scale snow cloud streaks that led to blowing snow, although snowfall spots were often mispositioned. In contrast, the mesoscale model analysis did not produce such small-scale phenomena, and thus the blowing snow potential matched closures only when the snowfall was caused by synoptic-scale disturbances.


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  • Accession Number: 01746465
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 1 2020 3:08PM