Winter Weather Information Signs
This design is recommended for both NYSDOT and Thruway Authority maintained freeways in the appropriate areas.
Interstate 81 has Variable Message Signs on either side of the "traditional" Lake Ontario snowbelt. Contained within the snowbelt are a couple of "Weather Info" signs as outlined in the NYSDOT MUTCD and the National MUTCD with NYS Supplement. Since the snowbelts of Lake Ontario and Lake Erie are subject to unpredictable and sudden whiteouts and these are heavily traveled regions by motorists unfamiliar with the area, it is appropriate to alert drivers that they are in the snowbelt region.
Ideally the sign mounted at the top of the assembly would be hinged so that it will be closed during fair weather months. It would be opened up for display in tandem with "ICY PAVEMENT" signs.
This recommendation is for the Interstate highways in these regions. I don't believe they are necessary on other roadways, which tend to have local traffic. Because these signs supplement existing variable message signs and do not include flashing lights, variable message signs, etc, the cost should be relatively minimal.
This suggestion should be implemented before winter 2008.