Washington puts weather, traffic online
- By Daniel Keegan
- Aug 09, 2000
After six months of testing and tweaking, Washington state has launched
its real-time weather and traffic site.
The system, "rWeather," replaces a piecemeal system that gave only basic
information and regional reports on congestion and construction. State officials
hope the new system enables citizens to plan trips better, especially during
"They can know to bring chains with them, or if it is really bad, they may
want to stay home," said Peter Briglia, program manager for the Transportation
Department's Intelligence Transportation System. By better informing the
public of road conditions, the roads will be much safer, Briglia said.
To access rWeather, at www.wsdot.wa.gov/rweather, users must have Netscape Communications Corp.'s Navigator 4.09 or higher, or Microsoft Corp.'s Internet
Explorer 4.01 or higher, with Service Pack 1.
Currently, only specific road condition information such as surface temperature is available for the state's major road, Interstate 90. In the next few
months, a bird's-eye view of state roads will be created and color-coded
to depict road conditions. In addition to a detailed profile and photographs
of I-90, two more major roads will have detailed information.
However, all weather information is available now. Residents can click on
regions of the state to get specific weather conditions. Information from
more than 400 weather stations is available because Washington's DOT combined
efforts with the University of Washington.
The federal government funded $1.5 million for the project, with the state
matching $250,000. The department is still seeking federal and state funds
as well as private sponsoring, as the system is funded only through June