General Knowledge
Andrea Vajda, Heikki Tuomenvirta and Pauli Jokinen
Finnish Meteorological Institute
Published in
Submitted by
melinda matyas
Related theme(s)
Environment & Climate Change
Europe (EU)
All Countries

Observed and Future Changes of Extreme Winter Events in Europe with Implication for Road Transportation

Weather and climate impact surface transportation, affecting the safety, mobility of transportation sectors and the planning and maintenance of the infrastructure. According to the statistics there is an increase in damages caused by the consequences of adverse and extreme weather events on transport system. The mobility and safety of road transport is mostly affected by extreme winter conditions, such as heavy snowfall, ice, freezing rain, blizzard and strong winds that might lead to significant disruptions, increased accident risk and costs of damage.

This paper provides an overview of changes in the extreme and adverse winter weather events that are most likely to affect the European transport system, with special consideration for road network, focusing on the observed present climate (1970-2000) and the projected future climate (2040-2070). Individual phenomena, such as heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures, strong wind gusts and also their combination, blizzard is considered.
The study is associated with the EU/FP7 project EWENT. The major goal of the project is to study the impacts of hazardous weather on the European transportation system by taking into account the changing climate.