Developing Quality-Controlled Datasets and Methods to Assess the Impact of Rain on Snow Events on Nevada Highways (NDOT 296-22-803)

Major winter floods in Nevada have been a result of mid-winter runoff from rain-on-snow (ROS) events. Whenever a roadway has been washed out or damaged due to a flooding event, the impacts include the loss of millions of dollars for repairs and the thousands of hours of lost time. Highways and roads throughout Nevada are located in areas susceptible to winter flooding. The ROS flooding problem presents an opportunity to improve the understanding of (1) ROS runoff potential that could be integrated into transportation infrastructure design and (2) identification of high-risk weather and antecedent snowpack conditions that could provide additional lead time when preparing for high impact events. ROS floods are projected to become more frequent and with larger flood volumes in the future. This makes identifying areas at-risk for ROS flood damages and developing a method for using Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) and other weather data or information (e.g., National Weather Service forecasts, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports) to better assess risk will help NDOT prepare for the coming decades. This research aims toward creating a process that will transform existing available data into a product that may be used in hydrologic evaluations. The project looks to take advantage of 15 years of hourly data from the existing SNOTEL network and provide meaningful analysis of potential future impacts to NDOT infrastructure under increased magnitude and frequency of ROS events.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $99952
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Nevada Department of Transportation

      1263 South Stewart Street
      Carson City, NV  United States  89712

      Federal Highway Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      Nevada DOT Research

      1263 South Stewart St
      Carson City, Nevada  United States  89712
    • Project Managers:

      Moore, Jim

      Koury, Lucy

    • Performing Organizations:

      Desert Research Institute

      2215 Raggio Parkway
      Reno, NV  United States  89512

      Utah State University, Logan

      Utah Water Research Laboratory
      Logan, UT  United States  84321

      University of Nebraska, Lincoln

      1400 R Street
      Lincoln, Nebraska  United States  68588
    • Principal Investigators:

      Heggli, Anne

      Hatchett, Benjamin

    • Start Date: 20220627
    • Expected Completion Date: 20231031
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Transportation, Planning, Research, and Development
    • Subprogram: Research

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01851104
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Nevada Department of Transportation
    • Contract Numbers: P296-22-803
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Jul 6 2022 6:45PM