At NWS Western Region Headquarters, METRo is run hourly for all Western Region (and many Central Region) road weather information system (RWIS) sensors providing sufficient observations. METRo output is available to NWS forecasters via an internal Google Maps display that uses colored icons to indicate predicted conditions at each site. Clicking an icon presents detailed forecast information for that site, including road surface temperature and conditions. Other quantities such as meteorological observations, radar, and watches/warnings can be overlaid on the display. Ultimately, our goal is to provide a scientifically relevant and easily accessible tool that alerts NWS forecasters to potentially hazardous roadway conditions.
This presentation will highlight the forecast process at Western Region Headquarters, the Google Maps METRo display, and the available forecast information. It will conclude with a brief discussion of how the NWS can leverage this information to work towards the goal of a weather-ready nation.