Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Thobias Sando

Second Advisor

Dr. Akan Cigdem

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Kopp

Department Chair

Dr. Osama Jadaan

College Dean

Dr. William Klostermeyer


Rainfall affects the performance of traffic operations and endangers safety. A common and conventional method (rain gauges) for rainfall measurements mostly provide precipitation records in hourly and 15-minute intervals. However, reliability, continuity, and wide area coverage pose challenges with this data collection method. There is also a greater likelihood for data misrepresentation in areas where short duration rainfall is predominant, i.e., reported values may not reflect the actual equivalent rainfall intensity during subintervals over the entire reporting period. With recent weather and climate patterns increasing in severity, there is a need for a more effective and reliable way of measuring rainfall data used for traffic analyses. This study deployed the use of precipitation radar data to investigate the spatiotemporal effect of rainfall on freeways in Jacksonville, Florida. The linear regression analysis suggests a speed reduction of 0.75%, 1.54%, and 2.25% for light, moderate, and heavy rainfall, respectively. Additionally, headways were observed to increase by 0.26%, 0.54%, and 0.79% for light, moderate, and heavy rainfall, respectively. Measuring precipitation from radar data in lieu of using rain gauges has potential for improving the quality of weather data used for transportation engineering purposes. This approach addresses limitations experienced with conventional rain data, especially since conventional collection methods generally do not reflect the spatiotemporal distribution of rainfall.