Toshiba Launches Weather Service to Predict Hail, Expected to Be Utilized for Public and Private Sectors

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
A roof of a bicycle parking lot at a junior high school in the city of Fujioka, Gunma Prefecture, damaged from a hailstorm in June 2022

Toshiba Corp. launched a weather analysis service that predicts hail for companies and local governments. Using in-house weather analysis technology, the service predicts whether hail will fall within a few dozen minutes based on radar reflected from clouds.

It is expected to be used to protect assets such as cars and houses and any calls for evacuation.

The technology emits radio waves horizontally and vertically to distinguish between rain and hail, then divides the entire country into 250-meter squares. Each area on the map is rated on a three-point scale on the chance of hail occurring: “highly likely,” “likely” or “almost unlikely.”

The service is expected to be offered to non-life insurance companies, local governments, the construction industry, public transportation and the energy industry. If hail is predicted, protective nets could be set up in farms to shield crops.