Road Weather Event Week 2019

42 Minutes

Joris Van den Bergh (RMI)
Sylvain Watelet (RMI)

Road Weather Forecasting in Belgium

Published: 18 December 2019

Forecasting the conditions of roads and highways is important for traffic safety and road maintenance (salting, clearing snow) decision making in Belgium. The Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI) collaborated with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) to adapt the KNMI road weather model for Belgian roads. It is based on a 1D radiative transfer model that makes use of meteorological input from different numerical weather prediction models and the INCA-BE nowcasting model used by the RMI weather office. The output (road surface temperature and condition) is generated for about 90 road weather station locations in Flanders and 50 in Wallonia, and is visualized through a GIS interface. We present our operational "GMS system", which gives forecasts every hour, and is available through a web platform for the regional traffic agencies in Flanders and Wallonia. After that, we give a brief introduction to the SARWS project, which RMI participates in with other Belgian partners. Crowd-sourced data is increasingly used in weather science, and road forecasting is no exception. One of the aims of the SARWS project is measuring several weather parameters in real-time from vehicle sensors, in order to enhance the RMI road weather forecasts performed, and eventually send warnings to drivers in case of dangerous conditions. In the presentation, we will highlight the first results of a field test performed by three cars in the region of Antwerp.

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