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WISE Roads Project Helps Localize Weather Data to Protect Roads and Limit Impacts to Industry

Posted: May 20, 2020

Photo: Curt Glasoe collects road data in preparation for the installation of weather station road probes.UGPTI's North Dakota Local Technical Assistance Program is leading efforts to implement a weather monitoring system that will minimize weather-related disruptions in the oil industry and protect roads for other users. Wise Roads (Weather Information System to Effectively Reduce Oilfield Delays and Disruptions) was implemented in 2019 to monitor weather and provide more accurate localized weather information in the Bakken oil producing region.

Rainfall, humidity, and other weather factors are extremely local, especially in the summer where precipitation can vary greatly within miles. Previously, large counties experiencing heavy rainfall might limit loads on roads in the entire county when the rainfall was limited to a few townships. Conversely, rainfall in a localized area might be missed until after road damage had occurred. WISE Roads will provide data to support temporary load limits only where they are needed.

The project is a partnership of the Western Dakota Energy Association (WDEA), the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN), and NDSU and NDLTAP. In phase one, 10 test sites were installed. Phase two is ongoing with the goal of 15 more Wise Roads weather stations. In total, 50 sites were funded and will continue to be installed as time permits, hopefully in 2020.

Curt Glasoe and Leanna Emmer of NDLTAP recently collected road data for the Wise Roads weather station road probes which will be installed later this month. Each road will have four probes to measure each roadbed's moisture content at 6 inches, and, 2, 4, and 6 feet. The stations are located in Williams (Epping), Mountrail (Powers Lake), McKenzie (Hawkeye), and Dunn (Medicine Hole) counties.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050