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Flash flood forecasting within the PREVIEW project.

Vincendon Béatrice

PREVIEW is a European Commission FP6 Integrated Project which aims at developing, on a European level, new geo-information services for natural and industrial risk management. As far as the atmospheric risks are concerned, one of the themes deals with floods, especially the work package WP4340 focuses on forecast of Mediterranean flash floods. Météo-France/CNRM (France), ARPA Piemonte (Italy), LTHE (France), NOA-IG (Greece), Meteo-Swiss (Swiss) and Noveltis (France) are involved in this WP4340. Phase 1 is devoted to the assessment of the usefulness of kilometric scale atmospheric model forecast for hydrological applications as well as the development of hydro-meteorological coupled systems based on high-resolution atmospheric models and hydrological models that have shown their abilities to reproduce the hydrological behaviour of Mediterranean catchments.
Four high-resolution models at 2-3 km resolution have been run on five flash-flood cases over the French Cévennes-Vivarais and Italian Piemonte regions; models are MM5 (by NOAA), Almo2 (by MeteoSwiss), Meso-NH (by Météo-France) and LAMI (by Arpa Piemonte). Several runs varying initial conditions and model parameters have been performed. A web interface has been developed for comparison and scoring facilities and allows to compare the Quantitative Precipitation forecast (QPF) between different models and their sensitivity to initial conditions and model parameters. This is also evaluated through the hydrological answer of the two hydrological models using as input the QDF. Results will be presented at the workshop.
A full 2-way coupling is developed between the hydrological model TOPMODEL and the surface scheme of the MESON-NH model. The hydrological model performs the lateral soil water distribution over the catchments and diagnosed saturated areas, whereas the surface scheme simulates the surface run-off. More realistic water soil content is expected for the MESO-NH model.