A fresh blanket of snow may be fun to look at or play in, but it can also be a logistical nightmare for your business. And it can be equally as frustrating when the storm shifts and you didn't need to adjust logistics after all.

This is where smarter data can help.

Deeper insights can help your team steer clear of snarls on the roadways and navigate confidently through dangerous winter driving conditions.

Why Radar Data Doesn't Cut It

How many times have you seen heavy snow falling but only sticking to the grass? Or what about just "flurries" that suddenly cover the road? This is where freely available radar data falls short.

Many organizations rely on information that only tells them whether precipitation is falling. But pinpointing how the wintry weather may impact road surfaces is much more complex. Factors such as the rate of snowfall, speed of evaporation, and how much solar radiation reaches the road surface all play into whether or when it becomes icy or snow-covered.

Dan Gallagher is the Enterprise Product Manager for Baron Weather, a worldwide leader in weather solutions for critical decisions. His team has been measuring these influencers for many years and has more than two decades of pavement forecast experience throughout North America.

"We're able to produce data that uses the latest science, real-time measurements, and predictions frequently, and this enables users to make decisions confidently," Dan says.

"Some of the most dangerous driving conditions involve threats that may not be immediately obvious to the driver," he adds. These threats can include freezing rain, flash freezes, black ice, or flooding.

What Makes Winter Driving Data Smarter

Road surface temperature plays the most significant role in whether snow or ice can accumulate on pavement. It is also a contributing factor to how quickly the frozen mess will melt or can be cleared effectively.

Baron Weather patented technology in 2006 that determines road conditions based on road surface temperature, and the product is still widely used today by XM NavWeather subscribers.

"The product continues to provide value because it's fast, accurate, and easy to understand over a low-bandwidth transmission," Dan said.

A pavement model was then developed from the road conditions data that provides insight into the future for a more accurate road conditions forecast.

The pavement model also incorporates specialized land-surface data that provides more detail on the fate of precipitation after it reaches the ground. Moisture and soil characteristics are combined with topographic and historical data to provide a sense of geographic continuity over a period of time. In other words, credible road condition data is made available for all points on a map, not just where an observation is reported.

A disruptive storm will move across the nation this week with the potential to produce icy roads, snow, severe weather, and heavy rain. See how you can plan around these hazards with smarter road condition model data from Baron at https://t.co/XNWYsOhsI4. #ModelMonday pic.twitter.com/ztBJl860Ir

— Baron Weather (@BaronWeather) November 28, 2022

"This model gives us key information on not just what's happening now, but the evolution of a snowpack or the collection of water for ponding and flooding concerns," Dan explained.

Forecast maps during winter storms can be full of color and complicated to interpret for a specific location or route. Isolating the specific winter driving conditions on one map can help, especially if you need to look at a region or multiple locations at once. The Baron Weather Road Conditions data classifies road conditions into five simple-to-understand levels: wet, icy, snowy, heavy snow, and flooded.

Test Drive Baron's Road Conditions Data

Preparing and responding to the human impact from winter weather requires more than just a precipitation forecast. High winds, for example, can cause snow drifts several feet higher than the projected accumulations. Frigid temperatures during or immediately following the event can also make it difficult for road crews or plane deicers to be effective.

Baron's road weather datasets can help you monitor conditions in real time or accurately project those conditions into the future. The data is available to developers through the Baron Weather API or public safety professionals through the Baron Threat Net web and mobile applications. Broadcast customers of Baron can also display the data through the Lynx software platform.

No matter where your business operations take you or what time of day you need to travel, the Baron Weather road conditions dataset can provide clarity on whether winter precipitation will impact road surfaces, and for how long following an event they may still be icy or snowy.