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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

For further information on how TWNCS can assist with your RWIS needs please contact our Transportation services team.

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