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Evaluation of the UDOT Weather Operations/RWIS Program on Traffic Operations

Project #: 4W2324
Start Date: 09/01/2008
End Date: 07/31/2009

Phase I of the evaluation focused on developing an internal business case for the Weather Operations/RWIS program, in other words to demonstrate its effectiveness to the Utah Department of Transportation by documenting its benefits to the winter maintenance and construction divisions.

This project provides an opportunity to expand the evaluation to look at the program’s impacts on other divisions. This will provide a more complete picture of how the program has benefited the agency. Also, this research will help establish a nationwide prototype of the unique program with stationed meteorologists that provide year-round and area-specific weather forecasts to various users.  As Aurora represents several U.S. states, two Canadian provinces, and a European nation (Sweden), the project can help raise national and international awareness of this successful model.



In 2007, WTI completed an evaluation of Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) Weather Operations/RWIS Program. The program has four staff meteorologists who provide year-round weather information and forecasts to various divisions of the DOT. WTI’s initial evaluation focused on assessing the effectiveness and identifying the benefits of the program to the maintenance and construction divisions. Findings from the evaluation indicated that users consider the weather services to be accurate, reliable, and cost-effective. This project represents a second phase of the evaluation, to investigate the utility of the program to other divisions. Specifically, this research will focus on how the Weather Operations/RWIS Program benefits Traffic Operations Center (TOC) users, such as the incident management team, traffic signal group, and traveler information personnel. This project is sponsored by the Aurora research consortium, a pooled-fund organization (led by the Iowa Department of Transportation) dedicated to performing transportation weather related research. Aurora is interested in investigating the potential of the Utah program as a national model.


The objective of this research project is to conduct a second phase of evaluation of Utah Department of Transportation’s (UDOT) Weather Operations/RWIS Program, in order to identify how the program benefits users in the Traffic Operations Center.

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