Friday, December 5, 2014

Road Weather Information System is Saving Tax Dollars While Improving Storm Response

The Division of Highway Services (DHS) is relying on information from its four Road Weather Information System (RWIS) stations to cut costs and improve efficiency in responding to winter storms. The stations are distributed around the County in areas with different microclimates: Burtonsville, Potomac, Clarksburg and Darnestown. The data collected allows DHS to be more proactive in responding to hazardous driving conditions.

With two storm activations already this winter season, the stations have been put to good use. They report pavement temperature, air temperature, dew point and “grip,” which indicates when roads transition from wet to icy. When conditions turn hazardous for drivers, the station automatically sends real time text messages to DHS depot staff who can immediately respond, allowing crews to target their efforts where it is needed.