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Ensemble flood forecasting: current status and future opportunities

Wu, W., Emerton, R., Duan, Q., Wood, A. W., Wetterhall, F. and Robertson, D. E. (2020) Ensemble flood forecasting: current status and future opportunities. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water, 7 (3). e1432. ISSN 2049-1948

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1432


Ensemble flood forecasting has gained significant momentum over the past decade due to the growth of ensemble numerical weather and climate prediction, expansion in high performance computing, growing interest in shifting from deterministic to risk-based decision-making that accounts for forecast uncertainty, and the efforts of communities such as the international Hydrologic Ensemble Prediction Experiment (HEPEX), which focuses on advancing relevant ensemble forecasting capabilities and fostering its adoption. With this shift, comes the need to understand the current state of ensemble flood forecasting, in order to provide insights into current capabilities and areas for improvement, thus identifying future research opportunities to allow for better allocation of research resources. In this paper, we provide an overview of current research activities in ensemble flood forecasting and discuss knowledge gaps and future research opportunities, based on a review of 70 papers focussing on various aspects of ensemble flood forecasting around the globe. Future research directions include opportunities to improve technical aspects of ensemble flood forecasting, such as data assimilation techniques and methods to account for more sources of uncertainty, and developing ensemble forecasts for more variables, for example flood inundation, by applying techniques such as machine learning. Further to this, we conclude that there is a need to not only improve technical aspects of flood forecasting, but also to bridge the gap between scientific research and hydro-meteorological model development, and real-world flood management using probabilistic ensemble forecasts, especially through effective communication.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
ID Code:89595
Uncontrolled Keywords:Ensemble flood forecasting; overview; current research gaps; future research opportunities


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