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Continental and global scale flood forecasting systems

Emerton, R. E., Stephens, E. M., Pappenberger, F., Pagano, T. C., Weerts, A. H., Wood, A. W., Salamon, P., Brown, J. D., Hjerdt, N., Donnelly, C., Baugh, C. and Cloke, H. L. (2016) Continental and global scale flood forecasting systems. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 3 (3). pp. 391-418. ISSN 2049-1948

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1137

Abstract/Summary

Floods are the most frequent of natural disasters, affecting millions of people across the globe every year. The anticipation and forecasting of floods at the global scale is crucial to preparing for severe events and providing early awareness where local flood models and warning services may not exist. As numerical weather prediction models continue to improve, operational centres are increasingly using the meteorological output from these to drive hydrological models, creating hydrometeorological systems capable of forecasting river flow and flood events at much longer lead times than has previously been possible. Furthermore, developments in, for example, modelling capabilities, data and resources in recent years have made it possible to produce global scale flood forecasting systems. In this paper, the current state of operational large scale flood forecasting is discussed, including probabilistic forecasting of floods using ensemble prediction systems. Six state-of-the-art operational large scale flood forecasting systems are reviewed, describing similarities and differences in their approaches to forecasting floods at the global and continental scale. Currently, operational systems have the capability to produce coarse-scale discharge forecasts in the medium-range and disseminate forecasts and, in some cases, early warning products, in real time across the globe, in support of national forecasting capabilities. With improvements in seasonal weather forecasting, future advances may include more seamless hydrological forecasting at the global scale, alongside a move towards multi-model forecasts and grand ensemble techniques, responding to the requirement of developing multi-hazard early warning systems for disaster risk reduction.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Walker Institute
Faculty of Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science > Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:53948
Publisher:Wiley

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