The Effectiveness of the Tompkins County Department of Transportation's Deicing Strategies in Ithaca, NY

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Roop K. Singh, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

In Ithaca, NY snow is typically a mainstay of the winter, and sometimes spring and fall seasons. The Tompkins County Department of Transportation (DoT) uses various snow and ice control strategies to ensure human safety on county roads. The type of deicing agent used, and timing of application with respect to the timing of the snow or ice event are important considerations for the effectiveness of the deicing strategy. Using data from freezing precipitation events during October-May from 2007-2012, and salt application data from the Tompkins County DoT, the efficiency of the DoT's deicing strategy is assessed as defined by the guidelines provided by the Cornell Local Road's program Snow and Ice Control publication. A climatological baseline using precipitation data available for the past five years will be created. The frequency of frozen precipitation events is likely to change in the future due to both natural and anthropogenic impacts on climate. Thus, I will observe long-term frozen precipitation trends predicted by climate models and consider the long-term policy needed for snow and ice control in Tompkins County.