International Road Weather Conference 2018 Slovakia

The Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute (SHMI) and Slovak Meteorological Society (SMS), in cooperation with Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), organised the 19th International Road Weather Conference, SIRWEC 2018. The conference focused on meteorology, special forecasts, application tools and equipment for road network maintenance.

It took place from 29th May to 1st June 2018 at the beautiful Smolenice Castle in Slovakia, approximately 60 km from the capital Bratislava.

The conference focused on the impact of weather conditions on road safety and on cooperation between the meteorological community, road maintenance organisations and the private sector.

Delegates at SIRWEC 2018

The main topics were :

  • Road Weather Information Systems (RWIS) Sensors & Equipment
  • Road Weather Management
  • Systems / Decision Support Systems
  • Advances in Road Weather Forecasting
  • Novel Approaches in Road Weather Systems
  • Winter maintenance

There was discussions about fully autonomous road maintenance systems and modelling of road conditions on road sections where road meteorological measurements are not available.

There were 29 presentations, 10 posters and more than 100 experts from 22 countries from around the world at the conference. The award for the best SIRWEC2018 conference Poster was won by Petr Zacharov of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Czech Academy of Science for his poster on developing and running the FORTE model for road surface temperature and condition forecasts for Prague

“SHMI, in cooperation with the National Highway Company and the private sector, is currently producing a specialised road traffic forecast hourly for more than 100 locations in Slovakia. This information is used in winter to optimise winter highways maintenance”, said Jozef Vivoda, the Head of Department of Numerical Prediction Models and Systems of SHMI and a member of SMS.

The conference concluded that modern and cost-effective winter road maintenance could not be developed without using specialised forecasting meteorological systems. Experience from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, Canada and others show that the use of meteorological information for road maintenance is one of the key factors for economic efficiency.

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