Cities Turning to Technology for Smarter Winter Weather Response

23 Jan 2019

Technology is changing the way the world works. This includes the way large and small cities across the country and around the world are addressing their winter weather responses. By creating tools that allow cities to manage winter weather more effectively, technology is helping cities deliver faster responses and more effective management of snow, ice, and traffic. These are some of the tools and technology that are making real differences.

Smart Salt Spreaders

These nifty tools not only help spread salt more efficiently on city, state, and county roads, but also reduce salt consumption by 30 percent. This helps preserve roads, reduce rust, and save money while ensuring adequate coverage for roadways.

GPS Tracking for Snow Plows

GPS tracking not only improves safety for snow plows on the road in dangerous conditions. It also helps plan more efficient and effective routes ensuring that all major thoroughfares get the attention they require without using labor, salt, and/or fuel inefficiently.

Bombs/Explosives for Avalanches

In Tahoe, CA, experts are using carefully placed bombs to reduce the risks of avalanches on ski slopes with some reporting the use of up to 360 bombs on days following major snowstorms.

Cloud Seeding

A tactic used in China and Russia by which government agencies seed clouds with substances that cause water vapors to crystalize at different temperatures than they would in ordinary circumstances. In theory, this would reduce the amount of snowfall the cities would receive. However, there are wide discrepancies regarding the overall effectiveness of this action with many reports indicating a 20 percent reduction in precipitation in a best-case scenario.

Automated Snow Removal Robots

Just as there are robots that will vacuum floors and mow lawns, there are now robots that will remove snow for you as well. The Japanese snow-eating robot, Yuki-taro may look like something brought to life from a kid’s cartoon, but this adorable mini snow plow is a high-tech device equipped with GPS, two video cameras, along with an internal snow compressor to leave compact bricks behind once it’s eaten its share of snow.

Sugar Beet Juice Extract

Cities looking for something a little more planet-friendly than salt for snow melting properties need look no further than sugar beet extract. It is far less corrosive to pavement and cars and offers no damaging effects for groundwater and nearby vegetation.

Bigger, More Powerful Snowblowers

Blowing snow is no big deal in many places throughout the United States. However, there are a few cities that get large amounts of snow each year that need something the average snowblower simply isn’t cut out to handle. The removal of large amounts of heavy snowfall. Fortunately, there are larger than average snowblowers available that can do the job of moving large amounts of snow over larger distances. With one blower reportedly blowing snow more than 100 feet away!

High tech, low tech, and somewhere in between, these methods of snow removal are taking cities throughout the U.S. and around the world by storm.

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