THE NEXRAD RADAR SYSTEM: A NEW TOOL FOR HIGHWAY TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH

The recent introduction of a modern Next Generation Weather Radar system (NEXRAD) throughout the United States offers unique opportunities for ground transportation, particularly in the area of highway traffic management. Other applications include greater understanding of transportation-weather relationships, improved safety, and development of more effective weather-related design criteria for future highway systems and components. This paper examines this potential by the introduction of three radar-based, rainfall-dependent indices that affect driving, namely, a Highway Wetness Index (HWI), a Visibility Impairment Index (VII) and a Combined Hazard Index (CHI). A methodology for deriving these indices along prescribed routes in real time is described and illustrated in the Seattle area. Traffic data along I-5, during passage of a storm system, are strongly correlated with the event and illustrate the value of using this new radar system for traffic management in metropolitan areas. Intelligent use of the additional information provided by the NEXRAD radar system throughout metropolitan areas of the U.S. can be expected to reduce congestion, enhance safety, and improve the effectiveness of ground transportation systems.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 431-441

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00724761
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 16 1996 12:00AM