Evaluation of Road Surface Temperature Forecasts

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Michael E. Baldwin, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN; and J. Bozell, V. Garcia, P. Hockerman, M. Seedorf, C. Susdorf, and A. White

During the 2012-13 winter season, Purdue University students and faculty provided experimental weather forecasts to the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). Surface temperatures are a critical aspect to road surface weather conditions, since they affect factors such as the form of precipitation accumulation, melting rates, and treatment decisions. Surface temperature forecasts were obtained from the WRF model that was executed during the period of the 2012-13 winter season. These surface temperatures forecasts were evaluated against road and bridge deck surface temperature observations obtained from INDOT's Road Weather Information System (RWIS) network of sensors. Adjustments to the WRF surface temperatures were made based upon these comparisons. This research was performed as part of a course at Purdue called Introduction to Atmospheric Research (EAPS 226), which is a sophomore-level course intended to provide atmospheric science majors with hands-on experience in real-world research techniques. These results will be presented at the AMS student conference.