Increasing the Utilization of Weather Data for Safety Applications and Traveler Information

Weather is an influential factor affecting highway safety. Extreme weather conditions such as dense fog and heavy rain can directly affect the level of safety on a road. Visibility is critical to the task of driving and reduction in visibility due to fog is a major traffic operation and safety concern. Fog has caused severe crashes over the years, and drivers are often caught unaware due to sudden reductions in visibility. For motorists, the lack of timely data about potential foggy conditions poses a significant threat. As the distance between a point of interest and the nearest weather station increases, the likelihood of accurately assessing the weather conditions for that location decreases. The objectives of the proposed research project are to: (1) evaluate the quality of available weather data; (2) develop weather (fog/visibility) prediction models from historical weather data; (3) predict weather at the route/link level for safety applications (crash analysis) and traveler information; and (4) research and recommend technologies for capturing fog/visibility information and providing real time fog-related weather data for safety applications and traveler information. The proposed scope of work involves: (1) a review of past research and current practices on using weather data for predicting fog; (2) identifying and collecting historical weather data from all available sources; (3) developing weather prediction models from historical weather data,; (4) developing a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) based methodology to accurately estimate weather at the route/link level; (5) evaluating the utility of meteorological observations at remote locations by comparing these observations with data collected via in-situ visibility sensors; (6) researching and recommending suitable technologies for capturing fog visibility information and providing real-time fog-related weather data to travelers; and (7) preparing and submitting a final report. The proposed Research Team to successfully complete the aforementioned tasks includes Dr. Venktata R. Duddu, Dr. Srinivas S. Pulugurtha, Dr. Matthew Eastin and a graduate student of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) and Dr. Christopher Godfrey and an undergraduate student of the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNC Asheville).

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Contract to a Performing Organization has not yet been awarded.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Sponsor Organizations:

    North Carolina Department of Transportation

    Research and Development
    1549 Mail Service Center
    Raleigh, NC  United States  27699-1549
  • Project Managers:

    Morrison, Ernest

  • Start Date: 20150801
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01582843
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: North Carolina Department of Transportation
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Dec 8 2015 4:12PM