Forecasts of road surface temperature and state are of critical importance to a professional weather support system of a road network. They allow winter maintenance treatment operations to be better planned and managed, leading to the optimization of the consumption of de-icing materials, effective winter service staff and equipment management, which gives considerable savings in the winter season. Better logistics in winter maintenance can be directly translated into road traffic safety and keeping up the capacity across a road network.
The process of forecasting surface temperature and state must take account of geophysical characteristics of a road network such as geographical position of a measurement location, road construction, surface thermal characteristics, topography as a factor determining daytime solar input and night time radiative cooling of the surface (tree cover, buildings), road altitude, presence of bridge/viaduct decks, nearness of water bodies, etc.
For surface temperature and state prediction, the TELPORT system draws on Vaisala's IceBreak Heat Balance Model. TELPORT offers automatically generated short-term forecasts (up to 3 hours) based solely on the data coming from the road weather stations DM-32 and long-term 24 hour forecasts, for which a forecasting agency is needed in the process, providing the system with long-term atmospheric forecast data such as cloud cover, wind speed, air temperature and air relative humidity.
The appropriate location of forecast weather stations in conjunction with the knowledge of thermal characteristics of the road surface acquired during thermal mapping surveys enable the extrapolation of short- and long-term forecasts of road temperature and surface state across the entire network.
See also (Polish texts): Mapy termiczne sieci drogowej