NOAA05-091
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Chris Vaccaro
7/20/05
NOAA News Releases 2005
NOAA Home Page
NOAA Public Affairs


NOAA, FHA JOIN TOGETHER TO CONFRONT WEATHER IMPACTS ON ROADWAYS

Leaders of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Federal Highway Administration today signed a memorandum of understanding that unites the agencies in combating the impacts of weather on U.S. roads and highways.

“Working with the Federal Highway Administration, NOAA can help mitigate the 7,000 deaths, more than 600,000 injuries, 1.4 million crashes and $42 billion in economic losses that occur each year due to adverse weather,” said retired Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

This new MOU fosters more effective coordination and integration between NOAA’s environmental data managers who handle transportation-relevant weather observations and the researchers and managers at the Federal Highway Administration who interact with the surface transportation community.

“Our partnership with NOAA will provide accurate and timely weather information that is crucial to finding ways to reduce weather related road hazards,” says Mary Peters, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

Spearheading NOAA’s efforts is its Surface Weather Program, which works to ensure travelers and decision makers receive timely weather and hazard information on a scale that supports improvements to safe and efficient transportation. Partnerships with the Federal Highway Administration and the Intelligent Transportation Systems of America have resulted in demonstration projects to develop and assess data, information and dissemination capabilities to reduce weather-related crashes and delays.

The Federal Highway Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation. FHWA is charged with the broad responsibility of ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be the safest and most technologically advanced. Although state and local governments own most of the nation’s highways, FHWA provides financial and technical support to help build, maintain and preserve America’s highway system.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with our federal partners and nearly 60 countries to develop a global Earth observation network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.

On the Web:

NOAA: http://www.noaa.gov

Federal Highway Administration: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov