Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) provide not only critical observed and forecast weather information but focuses on the pavement which is, after all a priority for road maintenance operations. Specialized hardware monitors changing weather and road conditions and feeds forecast systems which operational personnel can access to make informed and timely decisions.
RWIS technology combines hardware and data services to observe and forecast pavement and weather conditions, offering an innovative way of looking at winter maintenance operations. An RWIS solution consists of roadside environment sensor station(s) (ESS) each with atmospheric, pavement and subsurface instrumentation. The quantitative observational data from the ESS, which has its own value, is communicated to a central location where it is archived and combined with weather forecasts to provide a worst-case pavement condition forecast for the site and nearby locales.
The process of combining onsite observations with weather forecasts to produce a ‘roadcast’ is accomplished using a heat balance model which simulates the physical processes going on at the pavement level. TWNCS prides itself on using the latest version of Environment Canada’s cutting-edge METRo model and is an active member of the model community providing input and confirmation on its utility and performance. All of the surface and weather observations along with METRo’s surface forecast and our weather forecasts, including archive data, are then accessed via a secured web page.
Benefits of RWIS
Provides detailed information about the pavement temperature, sub-surface temperature, and presence of residual anti-icing chemicals
Provides pavement temperature (i.e. not just air temperature) forecasts
Generates worst-case road condition forecasts so as to give operators guidance for resource planning and implementation of anti-icing strategies with its 4 to 1 cost saving benefits compared to deicing
Allows clients to make proactive road maintenance decisions about when to apply salt or brine, or when applying anti-icing is not an option
Allows clients to optimize the application of salt to comply with Salt Management Plan guidelines
Provides up to 30 hour lead time alerting to the potential for black ice or frost
Archives of all observed and forecast data provides historical records to establish base-lines for climate normal’s for the road networks
Helps avoid liability issues by demonstrating due diligence and the use of Best Practices
The Weather Network Commercial Services (TWNCS) Value Add
Over 20-years of proven RWIS solution experience from single site through to provincial networks
Hardware vendor independent with a demonstrated ability to accommodate SSI, LUFFT, Vaisala, Boschung and Campbell Scientific equipment including hybrids
Pioneering use of Environment Canada’s pavement forecasting software - METRo model; a community standard
RWIS specific training
24/7/365 operations including technical and meteorological support