Weather Index User’s Guide

Project Details
STATUS

Completed

PROJECT NUMBER

2012-02

START DATE

01/01/12

END DATE

10/01/12

RESEARCH CENTERS InTrans, Aurora
SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration Aurora Program Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF SPR-3(042))
Iowa Department of Transportation

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Tina Greenfield

RWIS Coordinator, Iowa Department of Transportation

About the research

Problem Statement

Weather indices are powerful tools that can help observers quantify the severity of a winter season and allow comparison of the severity from one region or year to another. Such comparisons provide very useful information for those studying winter maintenance costs or other department of transportation (DOT) functions that are influenced by weather. While weather indices can be powerful tools, they must be used appropriately. An agency must select the right weather index for the job and have the data needed to compute the chosen index.

Objective

This guide describes weather indices in general, shows how they are used and misused, refers to some existing indices and identifies the data needed for computations, and presents an example showing how to use an index to understand other winter maintenance issues.

TOP