Surface water flood forecasting for urban communities

Moore, R.J.; Cole, S.J.; Dunn, S.; Ghimire, S.; Golding, B.W.; Pierce, C.E.; Roberts, N.M.; Speight, L.. 2015 Surface water flood forecasting for urban communities. Aberdeen, CREW, 32pp. (CREW Report CRW2012_03, CEH Project no. C04830)

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Key findings and recommendations: • This research has addressed the challenge of surface water flood forecasting by producing the UK’s first operational surface water flood risk forecast with a 24-hour lead time. This was successfully used in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. • The methodology of the Glasgow Pilot has been developed to use nationally available datasets and a transferrable approach which will help urban areas in Scotland improve their resilience to and preparedness for future flooding. • It also delivered a novel method for forecasting the impacts of flooding in real-time and increased knowledge on communicating uncertainties in flood risk. • A real-time forecasting system for surface water flooding from intense rainfall needs to use models that represent surface runoff production, surface water inundation and movement, and how water travels via surface and sub-surface pathways, including urban sewerage and drainage networks. Ensemble rainfall prediction models are key to quantifying uncertainty in forecasting the rainfall that causes surface water flooding. • Detailed surface water flood inundation models exist and are widely used in design and research activities, but none were found to be ready for real-time use. The Grid-to-Grid (G2G) distributed hydrological model was chosen for used in the Glasgow Pilot as it can provide ensemble forecasts of surface water flooding, and takes account of the intensity and pattern of rainfall, land cover and slope, and antecedent conditions. • The research developed a novel methodology for impact assessment that links surface runoff to the severity of flooding impacts on people, property and transport. Use is made of a library of information based on SEPA’s Regional Pluvial (rainfall-related) Flood Hazard maps. • For the Glasgow Pilot, G2G was operated over a 10km by 10km area encompassing Glasgow’s East End and the main areas of activity for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The research team developed an operational application, called FEWS Glasgow, to support running the model in real-time and reporting on the likely impacts of surface water flooding. A new Daily Glasgow Daily Surface Water Flood Forecast was designed and produced based on operational requirements and emergency responder feedback.

Item Type: Publication - Report
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Reynard
Funders/Sponsors: CREW, Scottish Environment Protection Agency
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Freely available online - Official URL link provides full text
Additional Keywords: flooding, surface water, precipitation, forecast, urban, model, real-time
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Earth Sciences
Related URLs:
Date made live: 17 Mar 2015 12:34 +0 (UTC)

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