2002 Annual

Wednesday, 16 January 2002: 2:45 PM
Integrating Weather Information into an Integrated Transportation Management System
David R. Legates, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; and D. J. Leathers, J. H. Talley, T. L. DeLiberty, G. S. Donaldson, K. R. Nixon, A. P. Janke, and G. E. Quelch
Poster PDF (227.0 kB)
Accurate, detailed, and timely weather information is an essential component of an Integrated Transportation Management System (ITMS). Weather information must be timely, of sufficient spatial resolution, and presented in a manner that enables decision makers to activate the appropriate response to the weather event. The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), in cooperation with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency and the University of Delaware, is developing such a system. At the heart of the system is a High-Resolution Weather Data System (HRWxDS), which will monitor the hydrometeorological conditions in the State. The system will incorporate weather data from national and local surface observation systems and Doppler weather radars as well as road surface sensors. The HRWxDS will enable DelDOT to monitor road surface temperatures throughout the State, wind speed and direction, rainfall, and coastal flooding on spatial scales ranging from 1 km to 30 m. Weather events can create havoc with transportation. Icy roadways, significant snowfall events, and fog create dangerous travel conditions that slow traffic or bring it to a standstill. The yearly passage of nor'easters, the occurrence of severe thunderstorms, and occasional brushes with tropical weather systems (tropical storms and hurricanes) create emergency situations that must be managed in an appropriate and timely manner. By integrating the real-time, detailed weather information, the ITMS can ensure roadways stay open and safe for travel and responses to ice/snow storms that fit the situation can be developed (i.e., applying salt at the most optimal time, in the appropriate quantity, and only to the roads that need it). In addition, evacuation of coastal areas in response to nor’easters and tropical events that cause coastal flooding can be planned, communicated, and monitored. This paper describes the High-Resolution Weather Data System, the DelDOT infrastructure, and pilot programs and direction to fully integrate high-resolution weather information into a comprehensive Integrated Transportation Management System.

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