UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The evaluation and modification of a prediction model for road surface temperatures McClean, Arthur A.


One version of a Surface Temperature Prediction Model has been evaluated and modified to precisely predict road temperatures and road conditions during winter nights under all weather conditions at rural, suburban, and urban sites. The Partial Differential Equation approach gives encouraging results with average errors being close to -0.5°C and worse case errors of +/- 1.0°C. The Willmott 'D' statistic generally remains greater than 0.8 for each site for all weather conditions. The model performs best on data for calm and clear nights. Poorest performance occurs for nights with large sensible and/or latent heat convective fluxes. An evaluation of the meteorological characteristics of each site (open rural, east-west forest, and east-west urban canyon) is performed. The urban canyon is consistently warmer than either of the other two sites. Air temperatures are not a dependable indicator of road surface temperatures because the relationship varies with weather conditions. Pavement near the center of the urban canyon tends to be slightly cooler than that near it's edge however no significant relationship is observed between the temperature at the center of the lane and within the lane's tire track. No clear relationship is observed between traffic volume and pavement temperature. The results are sufficiently encouraging to suggest further work with the Partial Differential Equation Model is warranted.

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