Road Temperature Modelling Without In-Situ Sensors

Karol Opara, Jan Zieliński


Modelling of the pavement temperature facilitates winter road maintenance. It is used for predicting the glaze formation and for scheduling the spraying of the de-icing brine. The road weather is commonly forecasted by solving the energy balance equations. It requires setting the initial vertical profile of the pavement temperature, which is often obtained from the Road Weather Information Stations. The paper proposes the use of average air temperature from seven preceding days as a pseudo-observation of the subsurface temperature. Next, the road weather model is run with a few days offset. It first uses the recent, historical weather data and then the available forecasts. This approach exploits the fact that the energy balance models tend to “forget” their initial conditions and converge to the baseline solution. The experimental verification was conducted using the Model of the Environment and Temperature of Roads and the data from a road weather station in Warsaw over a period of two years. The additional forecast error introduced by the proposed pseudo-observational initialization averages 1.2 °C in the first prediction hour and then decreases in time. The paper also discusses the use of Digital Surface Models to take into account the shading effects, which are an essential source of forecast errors in urban areas. Limiting the use of in-situ sensors opens a perspective for an economical, large-scale implementation of road meteorological models.


ice formation; initial conditions; pavement temperature; road meteorology; road weather stations; shading effects.

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DOI: 10.3846/bjrbe.2017.30


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