TULSA - The City of Tulsa will begin getting some high-tech help on determining when to spread salt and sand on the roads and when it can save taxpayers' time and money by just waiting for snow or ice to melt.
KRMG's news partner FOX23 got an exclusive look at the new device, a sensor installed at the Tulsa Community College Northeast Campus.
It will measure the temperature of roadways.
"To my knowledge, this is a first, and we're pretty excited to get involved here right at the ground level," said National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Amburn.
NWS is teaming up with TCC and the Oklahoma Mesonet on the project.
An infrared thermometer in the device will feed real-time data on surface temperatures to Mesonet.
Then a NWS computer will gather the data and correlate it to air temperatures.
"You're also talking about the ability for forecasters and meteorologists to be able to warn people effectively about what the road conditions are going to be, because right now, we're just kind of guessing," Phil Browder with the Oklahoma Mesonet told FOX23.
"If we can help forecast the road temperatures we can probably, we think, help the city decide when they want to put down salt, when they want to put down chemicals, whether or not the snow is going to melt when it hits the roads," Amburn added.