Weather, traffic online in Wash.
- By Daniel Keegan
- Sep 04, 2000
After six months of testing and tweaking, Washington state has launched
a real-time weather and traffic site. The system, rWeather, replaces one
that gave only basic information and regional reports on congestion and
construction. State officials hope the new system will enable citizens to
plan trips better, especially during the winter.
"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 (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, road condition information, such as surface temperature,
is available only 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.
All weather information is available now, however. 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 providing $250,000, through June 2001. The department is seeking further
federal and state funds as well as private sponsors.