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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-03-092
Date: May 2006

Verification of LTPP Virtual Weather Stations Phase I Report: Accuracy and Reliability of Virtual Weather Stations


The following recommendations are given for future work:

  • The VWS concept can be used to provide reasonable climatic estimates at any site.
  • In developing the climatic estimates, the elevation differences of the nearby weather stations should be limited to 250 m. The temperature could be corrected for the elevation difference using an algorithm similar to what was developed in this study.
  • A simple average (no weight) or inverse distance weight (1/R) should be used for developing the VWS estimates. The inverse distance square rule (1/R2) and the estimates based on the closest weather stations should be avoided as much as possible.
  • The VWS concept provides reasonable estimates regardless of the proposed improvements.
  • The most accurate characterization of the year-to-year variation of the climatic data should be made. This variation should be considered when estimating climatic data for an average year at a project site.
  • Because of the year-to-year variation of the climatic data, the estimated yearly climatic parameter for a typical year should be made with reliability.
  • The within-site variation of the measured climatic data should be further investigated.
  • SMP data anomalies discovered during this study should be fixed.
  • The quality and quantity of the windspeed and humidity data in the LTPP database should be improved.
  • It is highly recommended that the procedures developed in this study be used to develop a user-friendly climatic database for the LTPP program. Such a database can provide daily, monthly, yearly, and multiyear climatic estimates for existing and new sections, and will be updated easily.
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