Having spoken with dozens of road maintenance practitioners from across the country, one of the most intriguing features of ClearPath Weather, our web-based maintenance decision support system (MDSS), is its ability to display current, observed road temperatures. Through our integration of road weather information systems, or RWIS, ClearPath Weather provides atmospheric and pavement data, as well as a whole host of other roadway intelligence.
What is RWIS?
RWIS is a roadside system, usually a tower, that takes automated observations of atmospheric and pavement data for the current time and the past 24 hours in increments as short as every five minutes. ClearPath Weather users can view RWIS data for any site we have integrated across the United States, and are not limited to viewing their state or local area.
Many ways to view
On the ClearPath Weather website, you can view RWIS observations in a number of ways:
On the map (Image 1), choose which variable you would like to display on the map. Use these map-based observations to receive current road temperatures at your location and surrounding areas during refreeze events where the road temperature matters most. Get more detailed information on atmospheric and pavement observations in the information panel (pictured on the right of Image 1). If the RWIS site has a camera, you can view those images within the information panel. Use the integrated cameras to see what is happening on your routes in near real time.
Image 1- RWIS sites on the map panel with the information panel open on the right-hand side. Options for variables to display on the map are shown on the dropdown menu on the far left.
In the table and graph views (Image 2), see detailed information on atmospheric and pavement observations. Hover over the graphs to see tool tips, which will show you more detailed information of what is shown on the graph. You may want to use this feature to see what happened over the past day at that station, or find out how your pavement temperatures and conditions are responding to the weather. We also offer text and email alerting based on what has been observed at your local station.
Image 2 - graph view for historical RWIS data
ClearPath Weather users may be able to view the following information from their nearest RWIS sensor:
- Road Temp
- Road Condition
- Road Friction
- Bridge Temp
- Bridge Condition
- Bridge Friction
- Subsurface Temperature at various depths
- Cameras (sometimes multiple)
- Air Temp
- Dew Point
- Relative Humidity
- Wind Speed
- Wind Gust
- Wind Direction
- Precipitation Type
- Precipitation in inches per hour
- Atmospheric Pressure
The Bottom Line
Access to RWIS data provides a variety of details that give you a clearer picture of current weather and pavement conditions that can help you make the best decisions for your roadway maintenance operations.
About the Author:
Brianna Kump is a road weather meteorologist at Iteris.