Lessons from calibrating a global flood forecasting system

Lessons from calibrating a global flood forecasting system

Contributed by Feyera Hirpa, University of Oxford. Hydrological models are key tools for predicting flood disasters several days ahead of their occurrence. However, their usability as a decision support tool depends on their skill in reproducing the observed streamflow. The forecast skill is subject to a cascade of uncertainties originating from errors in the models’ structure, parametrization, initial conditions and meteorological forcing. The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) is an operational flood forecasting system that produces ensemble streamflow forecasts with…

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Acqua Alta: Flooding and Flood Forecasting in Venice, Italy

Acqua Alta: Flooding and Flood Forecasting in Venice, Italy

Contributed by Luigi Cavaleri, Institute of Marine Science (CNR), Venice, Italy. Venice is sinking at a rate of 1-2 mm/y. Combined with the present rate of sea level rise, ~3mm/y, this leads to ever more critical conditions for the possibility of flooding. With half of the city now no more than 80 cm above the present mean sea level and a tidal spring excursion of about 1 metre, any small surge will imply flooding in large parts of the city. A…

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Summer 2018 in Europe: did the EFAS seasonal outlook predict low river flows?

Summer 2018 in Europe: did the EFAS seasonal outlook predict low river flows?

— this post is jointly published on the blogs of HEPEX and the European Drought Centre — Contributed by Louise Arnal (ECMWF and University of Reading), Shaun Harrigan (ECMWF) & David Lavers (ECMWF). Summer 2018 in Europe was remarkable from a hydroclimate perspective, with large regions experiencing persistent dry conditions, very little to no rainfall for extended periods, a series of heatwaves with record-breaking temperatures and numerous wildfires (in the UK, Sweden, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Germany, among others)….

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GloFAS-Seasonal: Global Scale Seasonal River Flow Forecasts

GloFAS-Seasonal: Global Scale Seasonal River Flow Forecasts

Contributed by Rebecca Emerton. My PhD research looks into how we can provide earlier indications of flood hazard at the global scale. One way of doing this is through seasonal forecasts of high (or low) river flow. Seasonal forecasts are designed to provide an early indication that a given variable, in this case river flow, will differ from normal in the coming weeks or months. While many operational centres produce seasonal forecasts of meteorological variables, operational seasonal forecasts of hydrological…

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Drought Monitoring and Prediction in South Asia

Drought Monitoring and Prediction in South Asia

Contributed by:  Vimal Mishra* and Saran Aadhar, Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar, India Drought is one of the most complex natural disasters. In South Asia — a region including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan — increasing population, dependence on agriculture, and frequent droughts have resulted in water scarcity and food scarcity. In India, for example, about 330 million people were affected by the 2014-15 droughts, which led to severe water shortages (Mishra et al., 2016)….

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