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Subgroup on flood forecasting and warning. Activity report Ilmar Karro. Presentation. General Review on the subgroup activities Identified related activities Progress of the subgroup Remarks Proposals/recommendations. General ToR SG FFW from Heidelberg (RA VI session XIV).

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subgroup on flood forecasting and warning

Subgroup on flood forecasting and warning

Activity report

Ilmar Karro

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

presentation
Presentation
  • General
  • Review on the subgroup activities
  • Identified related activities
  • Progress of the subgroup
  • Remarks
  • Proposals/recommendations

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

general tor sg ffw from heidelberg ra vi session xiv
GeneralToR SG FFW from Heidelberg (RA VI session XIV)
  • The subgroup is considered to be composed of meteorologists and hydrologists with the aim of improving the capability of NMHSs in flood forecasting and warning for different types of floods.
  • To study and report on present applications of:
    • The development and operational use of common probabilistic methods.
    • The development and operational use of ensemble forecasting.
    • The development and operational use of methods for estimating, calculating the uncertainty in the forecasts.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

general tor for sg ffw from heidelberg ra vi session xiv
GeneralToR for SG FFW from Heidelberg (RA VI session XIV)
  • To promote co-operation between meteorologists, hydrologists and end-users both in operational activities as well as in research and development.
  • To cooperate with relevant actors in the area of flood forecasting and warning, mainly with respective members of CHy AWG on flood forecasting and with the EU Expert Circle on Flood Forecasting (EXCIFF) and the European Flood Alert System (EFAS) initiative.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

general ravi sp and ap
GeneralRAVI SP and AP
  • During this period the RAVI Action Plan was updated for the years 2008-2011 and the subgroup was assigned two tasks.
    • Review of operational forecasting methods and development targets in the region including existing cooperation between NMHSs with trans-boundary river basins. (2009).
    • To facilitate activities of NHSs in the region for improvement of hydrological forecasting including regional initiatives (EFAS, EXCIFF). To cooperate with EC on mechanism for the future implementation of EFAS including the system of relevant data exchange. (2009)

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

review on the subgroup activities 1
Review on the subgroup activities (1)
  • Participation in planning of the WMO workshop on “Enhanced flood forecasting in Europe” in Bratislava 12-14 December 2005.
    • During the workshop the chairman made a presentation of the subgroup.
    • The final report is available from WMO.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

review on the subgroup activities 2
Review on the subgroup activities (2)
  • The chairman was member of the organizing committee (together with other members of the subgroup representing CHR) for the joint WMO/CHR workshop in Berne in March 2006.
  • The themes of the workshop were
    • Uncertainty in numerical weather predictions
    • Hydrological Ensemble forecasts
    • Communication of uncertainties
  • Reports from the workshop is found on the CHR Webb side www.chr-khr.org

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

review on the subgroup activities 3
Review on the subgroup activities (3)
  • The chairman acted as a test pilot in the EXCIFF action 5c, which aimed at defining the good practices for informing the general public about flood forecasting and to write a guide relating to these good practices.
  • The chairman participated in one writing session in Brussels and other members provided valuable input to the work with the guide.
  • The guide “Good Practice for delivering Flood-related Information to the general public” is now finalised and available from JRC.
  • Planned workshop on flash flood in Norrköping in November 2006 together with EXCIFF, was unfortunately cancelled.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

review on the subgroup activities 4
Review on the subgroup activities (4)
  • Subgroup meeting during the 3rd Hepex-conference in Stresa Italy 27-29 June 2007. (First discussion about the questionnaire)
  • Subgroup meeting in Prague 4 October 2007. (real start on the work with the questionnaire)
  • Subgroup meeting in Koblenz March 2009. (Finalization of the evaluation of the questionnaire)

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

identified related activities
Identified related activities
  • EFAS (used pre-operational)
  • Meteoalarm (operational-vigilance)
  • Preview (finished project)-operational
  • COST Action 731 (ongoing project)
  • MAP and D-PHASE (ongoing project)
  • HEPEX (research - testbeds)

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup 1
Progress of the subgroup (1)
  • The subgroup consisted of both meteorologists and hydrologists and we have found that in the identified related activities also cooperation between the disciplines is being considered as a prerequisite for success. Also end users are being included in the activities/projects.
  • Co-operation with EXCIFF was established and the subgroup took part in the preparation work to the EXCIFF guide “Good Practice for Delivering Flood-Related Information to the general Public”.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup 2
Progress of the subgroup (2)
  • The development of EFAS and the work with making EFAS operational was monitored by the chairman and the issue is recommended to be monitored also in the future. The financing of the running of an operational EFAS will be an issue to follow and report on for the coming years.
  • A questionnaire was issued and evaluated to deal with the first objective in the RAVI Action plan.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup the questionnaire 1
Progress of the subgroup (The questionnaire 1)
  • Preparation phase. (web-based, took time, answering rate 56%, 26 countries)
  • Contents

1. general

2. forecasting methods and models

3. forecasting products and dissemination systems

4. flash floods

5. verification and evaluation

6. strengths and weaknesses in the forecasting process

7. economic and legal aspects

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup the questionnaire 2
Progress of the subgroup (The questionnaire 2)
  • 1. General (questions 1-8) A majority of the respondents are from joint hydrometerological services, but the work is mostly done by separate units. If you are in a separate hydrological institute the national meteorological service is the main provider of forecasts but there is also a multiple use of available forecasts, including forecasts from private sector providers.
  • Almost all of the respondents say that their service is responsible for flood forecasting on a national scale, but many have also responsibilities on river basin and regional scale. Almost half of the respondents say that they are responsible on the trans national scale. Most of the answering services say that no other organisation is responsible for warnings for the same area, but there are also a number of respondent’s claming that there exist other providers for forecasts or warnings.
  • The most common types of floods that occur are flooding due to precipitation, due to snow melting, urban floods and flash floods. The precipitation due to precipitation and snow melting are also forecasted by a majority of the respondents but urban floods and flash floods are forecasted by round a third of the respondents.
  • 2. Forecasting methods and models (questions 9-12) A variety of different methods and models are used (see question 9 in annex 2). 65% of the respondents report on use of meteorological ensembles in their forecasting process. The most commonly used real time data are precipitation, air temperature, water stage, snow cover and reservoir data. The most used processes to model according to the respondents are snow cover accumulation and melting, rainfall-runoff, evaporation and potential soil moisture.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup the questionnaire
Progress of the subgroup (The questionnaire)
  • 3. Forecasting products and dissemination systems (questions 13-20). Mostly the produced products are deterministicbut over half of the respondents report production of probabilistic products. The users are different kind of authorities (governmental, local, water and civil protection), general public and media. More than 60% also say that neighbouring countries are users. Under question 15 (annex 2), links to some examples on probabilistic information is given.
  • Lead time for forecasts and warnings show a wide variety amongst the respondents. A majority of the answering institutes say that they in some way deal with uncertainty in the forecasting process but only 50% report on indication of uncertainty given to the users. Only one third say that training is being organised for end users who are using ensembles and uncertainty. In the comments a need for probabilistic information and uncertainty measures are mentioned.
  • The most used dissemination media are web, telephone/fax, e-mail and mass media.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup the questionnaire 3
Progress of the subgroup (The questionnaire 3)
  • 4. Flash Floods (questions 21-23) A large majority of the respondents say that they don’t have special products for flash floods. The ways of dissemination are mostly the same as for other kinds of flooding. Around two thirds of the respondents report that they miss a local warning system. Some systems building on alerts from gauges are in use.
  • 5. Verification and evaluation (questions 24-28) Verification of the hydrological forecast/warning after a flood event is made by a large majority of the respondents and regularly by more than half of the answering institutes. The most common verification method is still subjective/manual.
  • The evaluation report is distributed internally and also to the government/ministry and in some cases to other authorities/users. Mostly the verification is done as a report but many also only verify by criterion values. Both the meteorological part and the hydrological part are evaluated, separately as well as integrated.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

progress of the subgroup the questionnaire 4
Progress of the subgroup (The questionnaire 4)
  • 6. Strengths and weaknesses in the forecasting system (questions 29-31, 37) The strengths reported are, expertise, models, co-operation. Expertise, especially when dealing with extreme weather events is very important and also requires training.
  • In the part of weaknessesthere is noted a general demand for increase of lead time, more frequent updated forecasts, more detailed forecasts and more accurate forecasts. Also a need for better meteorological input and probabilistic products as well as better use/understanding of uncertainty is highlighted. In question 31 a lot of ongoing research activities are reported, mainly national..
  • 7. Economic and legal aspects (questions 32-36) Just a few of he respondents say that there has been an economic valuation of the flood forecasting service carried out. Most of the answering institutes report that they have a legal mandate when it comes to issuing forecasts and warnings. The present legal framework for the work with flood forecasting and warning is considered adequate by nearly 70% of the respondents and around half of the respondents report that liability aspects has been an issue in the past. The private sector competition is seen to be an issue in the flood forecasting in the aspects, data collection, modelling and dissemination.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

remarks 1
Remarks(1)
  • In the questionnaire it can be identified that many institutes use probabilistic forecasts, some operationally and some in research mode. This is encouraging and should be followed up. The general conclusion is that research is going on in many institutes to be able to fully adopt probabilistic forecasting into practise.
  • The quantification and communication of uncertainties is still a big issue. That should also be combined with training of the staff as well as training of the end users.
  • There are a number of reports on national co-operation between the meteorological and hydrological institutes as well as co-operation with other authorities. This is also a good sign and further improvement should be encouraged.
  • Generally it is important that training is included in the organizations strategic planning.
  • It seems there might be a possibility to further enhance tinternational co operation.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

remarks 2
Remarks(2)
  • It is important to identify reports and results from ongoing activities/projects in order to give an input to those institutes who wish to implement the results (i.e. developed methodologies). The EXCIFF guide is one example of documented guidelines.
  • There is still a need for improvement regarding flash floods, both regarding modelling and dissemination. In dissemination there may be an organisational difficulty looking at the responsibility between the meteorological and hydrological side.
  • Post processing of meteorological parameters is a technical issue where there also may occur questions about the responsibility between the meteorological and the hydrological side.
  • There may be a need to study and report on real time updating techniques of the hydrological forecasting models.
  • There are two relevant WMO publications in this area. The technical regulation nr 49, volume 3 Hydrology and Guide to hydrological practices (WMO 168)

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

remarks 3
Remarks(3)
  • The fact that private sector companies are being more and more involved in both forecasting and warnings in meteorology as well as hydrology may be cause problems if there should be different messages sent to the users. For the benefit of the user it is preferable to speak with a single voice.
  • Not only flood forecasting is interesting. Also forecasting for low and normal water conditions becomes increasingly important.
  • Seasonal forecasting is used to forecast extreme hydrological events, as low water (droughts). Seasonal forecasts are also a important tool in predicting heat waves affecting the water temperature, which then has an impact both economically (transport) and ecologically. Forecasts with longer lead times can also be used for generally forecasting the inflow to reservoirs. Winter time you could use seasonal forecasting for predicting ice.
  • The issue of glacier lakes is identified. This can be an increasing problem in the future in the climate change perspective.
  • Taking into the account the reports on climate change there may be an increasing need to be able to better forecast flash floods, urban and drainage floods and ice jams back water.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

proposals recommendations to ra vi wgh
Proposals/recommendations (to RA VI WGH)
  • Continue the work to study and report on progress regarding the use of probabilistic forecasting and the inclusion of uncertainty in products to users.
  • Follow the operationalisation of EFAS.
  • Study and report on progress regarding flash flood forecasting and also generally dissemination of forecasts with short lead times.
  • Identify crucial questions from the questionnaire distributed in 2008 and make a follow up in some year’s time to be able to identify trends.
  • Make an inventory and report of Open Source software for the forecasting system.
  • Look in to further co-operation with organisations within the RAVI region and also global activities as i.e. HEPEX.
  • Inform about related projects/activities so that the results can be made used more widely within the RAVI region.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

proposals recommendations to nmhss
Proposals/recommendations (to NMHSs)
  • In co operation with the users try to adapt to probabilistic forecasting for flood forecasting in daily practice.
  • To look into the results from activities done internationally in order to see if the results are nationally applicable and to avoid duplication of work.
  • An increase in objective verification methods/systems could be fruitful.
  • Make sure that education of personnel for forecasting and warning continuously is included in the strategic planning.
  • To further increase the cooperation between the meteorological and hydrological communities as well as the user community. This includes defining clear responsibilities between the different partners involved in flood forecasting.
  • To further increase international co operation in research and operational activities in flood forecasting and the efforts to make research results operational..

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

slide23
Thanks for your attention !

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009

general ravi sp and ap24
GeneralRAVI SP and AP
  • Resolution in Heidelberg to develop a Regional Strategic Plan (SP) for RAVI 2008-2011 in line with the WMO long term plan.
  • For the previous period 2006-2007 an Action Plan (AP) was adopted in Heidelberg. (2 hydrological tasks)
  • As an annex to SP a new AP for 2008-2011 will be prepared.

RAVI WGH XI session, Toulouse 25 March 2009