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Météo-France and hydrology Jean-Marie Carrière Director of Forecasting. Météo-France and hydrology. Although hydrology is not in the basic missions of Météo-France…

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Météo-France and hydrologyJean-Marie CarrièreDirector of Forecasting


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • Although hydrology is not in the basic missions of Météo-France…

    • The missions of Météo-France include observing, qualifying and forecasting precipitations and other atmospheric parameters, as well as the state of the snow mantle and ocean surface (waves). These factors, especially precipitations, are of utmost importance for hydrology.

    • Modelling the interactions between soil and atmosphere, which is made routinely in the frame of Numerical Weather Prediction and climatic simulation, provides a frame which allows tackling some aspects of surface hydrology.

    • SCHAPI (the French national flood forecast centre) and the central weather forecastservices of Météo-France in Toulouse are co-located


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • A framework agreement between Météo-France and the ministry of Ecology and Sustainable Development

    • Methodological support to flood prevention

    • Definition and cost sharing (investment) of surface precipitations observation network (in situ and remote sensing systems)

    • Operational support to flood forecasting centres (SCHAPI & SPC)

    • Météo-France is itself a flood forecasting centre for the « East Mediterranean » area (but it does not manage the water level measurement network)

    • Support to hydrological follow-up and drought management

    • Collaborative studies on the detection and anticipation of the impact of climate change on the water cycle


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Météo-France and hydrology

The operational non-hydrostatic NWP model AROME of Météo-France

Resolution ~ 2,5 km

Thunderstorms over Paris


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Météo-France and hydrology

The French hydrometeorological radar network operated by Météo-France

Doppler winds used in the AROME model, reflectivities soon


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Météo-France and hydrology

Météo-France’s soil surface model

Used for drought follow-up and operational flood forecasting (flood vigilance)

Result of a large co-operation in the French community (SISYPHE, Ecole des Mines, CNRS,…)

Soil water index

Water content of the snow

mantle (kg . m-2)


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Météo-France and hydrology

Regionalization of return period for extreme precipitation

Return period 10 years for 24 hour-cumulated precipitation

Météo-France’s real time climatological qualification system for heavy precipitations

  • Developed in collaboration with Cemagref

  • An aid to decision-makers

  • Experimented by SCHAPI and SPC

  • Red : return period > 50 years


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Météo-France and hydrology

Contribution to the studies about the impacts of climate change on the hydrological cycle


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • Ensemble river discharge forecasting system

    • Experimented by SCHAPI and SPC

    • Developed in cooperation between Météo-France, Ecole des Mines, …


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • Météo-France’s storm surge operational model

    • Should be experimented by SCHAPI and SPC for estuaries and water evacuation at sea


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • The Gironde hydrodynamic 2D finite-element model

    • A collaborative project between Météo-France, SCHAPI, SPC and the National Hydraulic Research Lab of EDF

    • Operated routinely by Météo-France on its super-computer (Nec SX-9)


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • The French meteorological vigilance system combines heavy precipitations and flood risk as an integrated « precipitation and/or flood » risk pictogram


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Météo-France and hydrology

  • Regional level

  • National level

  • The scheme of real-time operational expertise exchanges and crisis management between Météo-France, SCHAPI and SPC


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