Extreme-weather-heavy-rain-frost-threaten-safety-traffic-routes-Germany

MeteoValue

Conception of value-added services to warn against disturbances of the traffic flow and hazards of the traffic infrastructure due to meteorological events.

May 1, 2017, to April 30, 2018

Executive summary

Extreme weather events such as heavy rain or frost threaten the safety of traffic routes in Germany in two ways. The first threat concerns road users who are currently at the site of the weather event, such as aquaplaning during heavy rains. The second threat directly affects infrastructure and often occurs over a longer period of time, such as frost or heat damages.

The aim of the project “MeteoValue” is to minimize the risk of road users and traffic routes through reliable and high-resolution weather forecasts. As part of a preliminary study, three types of services have been developed and linked together:

  1. a service that uses high-resolution weather forecasts to predict weather-related road traffic problems and alerts road users preventively and concretely from the emerging problems. This allows the road users to achieve a timely adjustment of travel planning/itineraries.
  2. a service that identifies acute hazardous infrastructure situations for the road authorities (for example due to imminent landslides or washout) and, in the case of acute danger, sends alerts to the responsible staff.
  3. a service that uses climate indicators derived from historical weather data to identify risks of long-term infrastructure damages due to high climatic pressures (for example frequent changes between frost and thaw, exceptionally long periods of heat, frequent extreme temperature fluctuations).

For service 3), climate indicators for the last 30 years (1986 – 2015) with a spatial resolution of 1 km were derived for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which can be downloaded free of charge here: