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Road Weather Information Systems

To help our transportation clients better prepare for winter weather challenges, Amec Foster Wheeler provides comprehensive, customisable Road Weather Information System (RWIS) services.

Snow, sleet, ice, and winter storms create hazardous driving conditions for motorists, and maintenance and budgetary headaches for roadway authorities. Every year, hundreds of fatalities result from poor winter road conditions. State, provincial, and local transportation agencies in the snow belt collectively spend a major portion of their maintenance budgets annually on winter operations, according to the US Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

We have been a leader in providing RWIS services to transportation authorities since 2002. Our full range of expertise and services includes:

  • Consulting and special services such as salt management plans, road thermal mapping, seasonal load adjustment predictions, and Dynamic Message Sign interfaces
  • Data collection, quality control, and archiving
  • Equipment siting, installation, and maintenance
  • Road condition and local area weather forecasting
  • Round-the-clock weather forecast center staffed by professional meteorologists

Innovative technical applications

  • Bridge deck predictions and Winter Severity Indices
  • Contributor to FHWA’s CLARUS program
  • Infrared thermal mapping-based Night Icing Potential service (NIP)  to address frost and other road icing hazards – nominated for Transportation Association of Canada Safety Award
  • Route solutions providing Maintenance Decision Support Services (MDSS) to road maintainers
  • Sophisticated Seasonal Load Restriction predictions based on thermal behavior of roadways and numerical weather prediction outputs

Robust weather center

  • Two geographically dispersed weather centres to provide redundancy and disaster failover
  • Cloud-based computing with auto scaling servers to handle increased system loads
  • Linux cluster to host meso-scale modelling
  • Multiple forecaster workstations
  • Redundant telecommunications services for data ingest
  • UPS and auto power transfer to our own 40kW diesel generator for power outages

Multiple date sources

  • Combination of client- and company-owned RWIS stations
  • Direct feed from NOAA and Environment Canada for data, digital radar, and GEM numerical weather prediction fields in GRIB
  • Hi-res outputs from Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) meso-scale numerical model run by Amec Foster Wheeler
  • RWIS data polled directly by Amec Foster Wheeler, client, or third parties

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