Looking at the big scale - Global Flood Forecasting
JRC on Tuesday 24 April presented new experimental system for better preparedness for floods on a global scale at the annual General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in Vienna. The Union is a non-profit organisation which promotes cooperation on Earth studies, environment and space sciences.
The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), jointly developed with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), is independent of administrative and political boundaries. It couples state-of-the art weather forecasts with a hydrological model and - with its continental scale set-up - it provides downstream countries with information on upstream river conditions as well as continental and global overviews.
In its test phase this global forecast system was able to predict floods up to two weeks in advance. It has shown its real-life potential for the first time during the flood in Southeast Asia in 2011, and more recently during the floods in Australia in March 2012. The JRC will now continue with further research and development, rigorous testing and adaptations of the system to create an operational tool for decision makers, including national and regional water authorities, water resource managers, hydropower companies, civil protection and first line responders, and international humanitarian aid organisations.
The EGU General Assembly 2012 takes place from 22-27 April. It brings together geoscientists from all over the world into one meeting covering a large scope of disciplines such as geosciences, atmospheric sciences, climate, energy and natural hazards. More than 10,500 participants are expected from over 95 countries.