Instructions:

Record the appropriate code for weather conditions at the time of the crash.

Definition:

The prevailing atmospheric conditions that existed at the time of the crash.

Rationale:

Important for management/administration and evaluation. Critical for prevention programs and engineering evaluations.

Code Definition DefinitionExample
1ClearIncludes partial cloudiness if sunlight is not diminished.
2CloudyUsually “overcast” but may include partial cloudiness if light is diminished.
3RainThis refers to precipitation other than snow, hail or sleet, or freezing rain. Precipitation falling as “mist” should be coded as “Rain”.
4SnowThis attribute describes a roadway surface that is covered with snow.
5Sleet, Hail, Freezing RainThis attribute would apply to conditions where precipitation is falling as ice (sleet/hail) or precipitation falling as liquid (rain) and then freezing on the roadway.
6Fog, Smog, SmokeThis includes natural or man-made conditions that cause reduced visibility.
7Severe CrosswindsStrong air flow perpendicular to the intended path of travel.
8Blowing Sand, SnowEarthen particles being blown about by the wind, reducing visibility. Wind-driven snow that reduces visibility. Blowing snow can be falling snow or snow that has already accumulated but is picked up and blown by strong winds.
97OtherThis attribute would be used for a variable that is not addressed by the previous attribute options.  If this attribute is used it is recommended it is explained in the narrative.
99UnknownIf this attribute is used, it is recommended to be explained in the narrative.

FAQ

If no other Weather Condition is applicable, what is the appropriate entry for the secondary field?

If only one Weather Condition applies, leave the second field empty.

Accuracy Checks

  • If the value of Weather Condition is ‘rain’, ‘snow’, ‘sleet’, ‘hail’, or ‘freezing rain’, then Road Surface Condition cannot be ‘dry’. Note: This may not apply in unusual locations, such as a tunnel.
  • If the crash occurred between May and September, the value of Road Surface Condition should not be ‘snow’, ‘ice’, or ‘slush’.
  • If the value for Weather Conditions is ‘clear’, Road Contributing Circumstances should not be ‘road surface condition (wet, icy, snow, slush, etc.)’.

Other Related Fields

Road Surface

Data Quality Audit Results

Report TypeAcceptableInconsistentInvalidEmpty
Local Police (electronic)33694.6%123.4%20.6%51.4%
Local Police (paper)34094.2%164.4%51.4%
State Police (electronic)30691.6%10.3%278.1%
Total98293.5%292.8%20.2%373.5%

Of the reports audited, Weather Conditions was completed in an acceptable manner 93 percent of the time. As shown here, State Police had a slightly higher incidence of leaving the field empty than local Police but had a lower incidence of inconsistencies between this field and other fields on the crash report. Auditors commented that officers often completed the second weather field with either the same entry as the first weather condition code, or marked it unknown. With no significant difference between paper and electronically submitted reports, this does not appear to be a systems issue.