Pub. online:25 Jan 2023Type:Statistical Data ScienceOpen Access
Journal:Journal of Data Science
Volume 21, Issue 2 (2023): Special Issue: Symposium Data Science and Statistics 2022, pp. 368–390
The potential weight of accumulated snow on the roof of a structure has long been an important consideration in structure design. However, the historical approach of modeling the weight of snow on structures is incompatible for structures with surfaces and geometry where snow is expected to slide off of the structure, such as standalone solar panels. This paper proposes a “storm-level” adaptation of previous structure-related snow studies that is designed to estimate short-term, rather than season-long, accumulations of the snow water equivalent or snow load. One key development associated with this paper includes a climate-driven random forests model to impute missing snow water equivalent values at stations that measure only snow depth in order to produce continuous snow load records. Additionally, the paper compares six different approaches of extreme value estimation on short-term snow accumulations. The results of this study indicate that, when considering the 50-year mean recurrence interval (MRI) for short-term snow accumulations across different weather station types, the traditional block maxima approach, the mean-adjusted quantile method with a gamma distribution approach, and the peak over threshold Bayesian approach tend to most often provide MRI estimates near the median of all six approaches considered in this study. Further, this paper also shows, via bootstrap simulation, that the peak over threshold extreme value estimation using automatic threshold selection approaches tend to have higher variance compared to the other approaches considered. The results suggest that there is no one-size-fits-all option for extreme value estimation of short-term snow accumulations, but highlights the potential value from integrating multiple extreme value estimation approaches.