Speaker: Lorenzo Alfieri
Date and time: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 15:00 UTC
Abstract: Flood forecasting and early warning systems operating at continental scales have a key role in providing large-scale overview of hydrological conditions and upcoming extreme events. They are meant to be nearly unsupervised, fully automated and based on relatively simplified approaches, able to spot extremes at an early stage and trigger subsequent in-depth analysis at regional scale. This talk will first present the current status of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), an operational system for flood early warning, run and monitored by a partnership of European institutions, where ECMWF is responsible for the EFAS Computational Centre.
Hydro-meteorological datasets and techniques developed in the context of EFAS have been used to investigate and improve the current state-of-the-art in flood forecasting. Among them, I will present some results of recent works devoted to 1) improving the flood hazard mapping at European scale, 2) setting up a flash flood early warning system based on simplified rainfall and runoff indices and 3) expanding EFAS to an experimental Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), which currently runs on a daily basis to detect runoff extremes in the main rivers worldwide. Features and limitations of the different systems will be discussed, together with some case studies of recent flood events.
About the speaker: Lorenzo Alfieri works in the Forecast Department of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). He is involved in monitoring and evaluating the operational runs of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS), as well as conducting applied research in the field of ensemble hydro-meteorological forecasting. He graduated in Civil Engineering and holds a PhD in Hydraulic Engineering from the Polytechnic of Torino, Italy. His past job experience includes a post-doctoral research position at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and a grantholder position at the ITHACA Research Centre, in Italy. His research interests include flood hazard mapping, streamflow forecasting and flood early warning at different space-time scales, from flash floods to larger riverine floods at global scale, with focus on implementation of operational systems.