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Severe Weather Index

Project #: 4W7118
Start Date: 02/26/2018
End Date: 06/30/2020

As described in the project summary document, key outcomes of this effort include the developed SWI model that can be applied to assess costs and effort of winter maintenance operation compared storms and seasonally. Additional outcomes include the detailed review of the current RWIS and historic network and the data provided, the identification of locations where blowing and drifting snow that impacts the road network, survey results showing how RWIS data is used by MDOT SHA maintenance crews, and the identification of future sites for RWIS stations to support a more robust network for MDOT SHA use.

Detailed recommendations are provided on improvements to RWIS, data collection and management, changes in reporting to the Emergency Operations Reporting System, and improvements that can be made to the SWI model.


A challenge that many state DOTs face is the accurate assessment of winter maintenance operations. One tool that has been successfully used by DOTs is the severe weather index (SWI), which can assess the performance and related costs associated with winter maintenance operations. It considers the relative severity of each weather event, and relative severity of weather for that season. The objective of this project is to develop a severe weather index for Maryland DOT by region, Maintenance Shop, and winter storm event. The larger goal is to use the developed SWI to determine if costs incurred during each event and winter are reasonable, as well as if the resources deployed and contracted amounts are also within reason.


The objective of this project is to develop a severe weather index for the Maryland Department of Transportation (DOT).


  • Laura Fay
    Laura Fay


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