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Guide to Transportation Planning Data Sources

This is a guide to an array of transportation planning data sources of interest to the VTRC Transportation Planning Research Advisory Committee (TPRAC).

NCDC (National Climatic Data Center)


NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) (formerly NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation's treasure of climate and historical weather data and information. Learn more about NCEI »

Data of interest to TPRAC: Historic weather data (mainly at airports). 

ClearPath Weather

ClearPath Weather logo

ClearPath Weather® aggregates location-specific weather data, and applies advanced data assimilation and modeling technologies to deliver customizable data solutions. This includes high-resolution information and applications ranging from tools for assessing historical weather conditions to both short-term and long-range weather forecasts, all of which can be used for winter road management.

ClearPath Weather requires users register and maintain a password *register here*

Data of interest to TPRAC: VDOT Weather forecasts



Archived and distributed through the ORNL DAAC, the Daymet data set provides gridded estimates of daily weather parameters for North America, including daily continuous surfaces of minimum and maximum temperature, precipitation occurrence and amount, humidity, shortwave radiation, snow water equivalent, and day length. The daily time step, 1 km x 1 km spatial resolution, and North American spatial extent of the data set makes it a unique and valuable contribution to scientific, research, and educational communities. The literature shows that Daymet data have been broadly applied to fields including hydrology, terrestrial vegetation growth models, carbon cycle science, and regional to large scale climate change analysis.

Data of interest to TPRAC: Daily surface weather and climatological summaries 


PRISM logo

The PRISM Climate Group gathers climate observations from a wide range of monitoring networks, applies sophisticated quality control measures, and develops spatial climate datasets to reveal short- and long-term climate patterns. The resulting datasets incorporate a variety of modeling techniques and are available at multiple spatial/temporal resolutions, covering the period from 1895 to the present. Whenever possible, we offer these datasets to the public, either free of charge or for a fee (depending on dataset size/complexity and funding available for the activity).

Data of interest to TPRAC: Spatial climate datasets revealing short and long-term patterns 

Intellicast NEXRAD

Intellicast logo

NEXRAD or Nexrad (Next-Generation Radar) is a network of 158 high-resolution Doppler weather radars operated by the National Weather Service, an agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) within the United States Department of Commerce. Its technical name is WSR-88D, which stands for Weather Surveillance Radar, 1988, Doppler. NEXRAD detects precipitation and atmospheric movement or wind. It returns data which when processed can be displayed in a mosaic map which shows patterns of precipitation and its movement. The radar system operates in two basic modes, selectable by the operator: a slow-scanning clear-air mode for analyzing air movements when there is little or no activity in the area, and a precipitation mode with a faster scan time for tracking active weather. NEXRAD has an increased emphasis on automation, including the use of algorithms and automated volume scans. Second generation NEXRAD radar systems will have the capability to optically detect hailstone size down to the square mile.

Data of interest to TPRAC: High resolution Doppler weather radars


IEM NEXRAD Composites

IEM logo

IEM NEXRAD Composite by Year
This application generates a summary image of IEM generated NEXRAD composites for a given time over the archives duration. You can click on the map to move the desired location.

Data of interest to TPRAC: Archived high resolution Doppler weather radar composites 


VADEQ logo

Virginia DEQ monitors level of ozone and particle pollution from stations around Virginia. Both of these are pollutants that, at high levels, may raise health concerns in some people.

Data of interest to TPRAC: Air Quality Forecasting

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