Impacts of Atmospheric Rivers in the Transportation Sector

Project Details
STATUS

In-Progress

PROJECT NUMBER

2020-01

START DATE

02/01/20

END DATE

03/31/21

SPONSORS

Federal Highway Administration Aurora Program Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF-5(290))

Researchers
Principal Investigator
Luca Delle Monache

Academic Program Manager, CASPO

Co-Principal Investigator
Thomas Corringham

Postdoctoral Scholar, CASPO

About the research

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are severe winter storms affecting the West Coast of the United States. ARs decrease the safety of roadways bringing heavy rainfall, ice, and snow to the roads, increasing accidents, delays, and travel time. How can the costs of ARs to the transportation sector be quantified? How could AR forecasts be used to reduce these costs?

The goal of this research is to develop a methodology to estimate the costs of ARs to the transportation sector and validate and refine the methodology by applying it to two focus sites in California, Utah, or Colorado. An extension was requested by the Utah Department of Transportation to apply the methodology to additional sites in Utah. Further extension objectives include holding a meeting with Aurora members to map out possibilities for future work, including broadening the geographic scope of the study, quantifying indirect economic impacts of transportation disruptions, quantifying AR impacts on freight transportation, and identifying AR forecast products that could be used to reduce the costs of ARs in the transportation sector.

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