5 Ways the Weather Experts Support Winter Maintenance Services
Keeping roads moving through the winter months is essential, for both economic and social reasons. Disruptions to supply chains and logistics can have significant impacts on business. Likewise, people expect their roads to be clean and safe, whatever the weather.
If teams are not gritting when it is needed, it results in unsafe driving conditions, traffic collisions and, in the worst-case scenario, injuries and fatalities. However, gritting when it’s not required costs money and has an avoidable impact on the environment.
With these pressures, winter maintenance teams need to do as much as possible to keep the traffic flowing. Essential to this is having accurate and reliable weather forecast data, which allows road maintenance teams to make informed gritting decisions.
Here are five ways the weather experts help support winter maintenance services.
#1 An expert weather room team
In the weather room, a group of experts work together to provide the most accurate and reliable forecasts. This team includes experts with extensive road-specific experience - including knowledge of different types of road slipperiness. This industry-relevant experience, combined with their understanding of weather patterns and anomalies, allows the experts to support you with unrivalled expertise and 24/7/365 weather room support.
#2 Using mature, road-specific weather models
The experts use proprietary Road & Route models, to identify situations where the weather poses a risk on the roads. They have been designed explicitly by the weather experts to address these challenges. Here’s how the two models work:
● The road surface model combines a physical and statistical model, designed to calculate the forecast for road surface temperature and conditions at specific locations, such as Road weather information system (RWIS) locations and downscaled locations (i.e. ‘on-the-spot’ forecasts).
● The route based forecast model is a physical model, designed to calculate forecasts for road surface temperatures and conditions for predefined gritting networks (or routes).
By using road-specific weather models, which have been refined over three decades, it improves the forecast accuracy. The mature physical and statistical modelling techniques combine the best available weather models with data collected from road weather information stations (RWIS), historical predictions, and records of actual weather conditions. This approach generates the most precise location-specific forecasts available. These unique weather model have consistently proven to be more accurate and reliable than any alternative.
#3 Constantly Monitored for Quality
As conditions change, you need weather information that’s accurate and up to date. The weather experts continually monitor the quality of their forecasts: both by having meteorologists correct them 24/7 as needed, and by benchmarking against alternatives. Constant monitoring of factors such as road-surface temperature and condition, together with their capacity to incorporate live weather observations into their model, ensure that their forecast is of the highest quality in changing conditions. Analysis of radar and satellite images further refines their forecasts and nowcasts. Benchmarking has consistently shown their forecasts to outperform both raw weather models and the competition.
#4 Easy-to-use interface
Having the right information is one thing. Having the right information, in an easy-to-use format, is another.
Clear, to-the-point user interfaces simplify decision making by giving you the most relevant information first. Then you can drill down to important details with ease. Get effortless access to short-term and long-term road-specific forecasts.
Easy-to-read, color-coded tables identify the most relevant information at a glance. The hazard table alerts you to any upcoming road weather hazards such as hoar frost, snow, ice, and freezing rain. The platform gives you a clear overview of road-surface temperatures and data from RWIS sites. View real-time observations, forecasts for the coming 3 hours, and animated precipitation type radar to distinguish between rain, hail, snow and freezing rain.
#5 Integrate with your systems
Want to visualize our forecasts your way? Using the weather API lets you incorporate information from the weather experts into your existing systems, with the information displayed in the interface you already know. Integration can also be a two-way street. The experts can apply the data from your RWIS in the locations specific forecasts and display the measurements and forecasts in the web-based platform. Whatever you choose, professional services can help you carry out a smooth and successful integration.
To find out more, download the "Winter 2018 - 19 End of Season Report for Europe and North America". It covers the weather conditions experienced during the season, the forecast performance, and how the experts help support winter maintenance teams.