EFAS provides different flash flood indicators based on two main concepts: 1) ERIC, generated from high-resolution numerical weather predictions with a lead time of up to 120 hours, and 2) ERICHA, based on radar-based precipitation monitoring and nowcasting for the next 4 hours.

ERIC - Numerical weather prediction based flash flood indicator

The ERIC flash-flood indicator is generated by comparing the forecasted surface runoff accumulated over the upstream catchment with a reference threshold. It is based on the 20-member COSMO-LEPS ensemble precipitation and soil moisture forecasts from the LISFLOOD hydrological model and provides indicators for the next 5 days for catchments smaller than 2,000km2.

ERIC flowchart

The ERIC flash flood indicators modelling chain

Two ERIC products exist:

  • Reporting points (“ERIC Reporting Points” layers): points in the river network highlighted because their flash flood forecast probability over the next 5 days meets certain criteria:

                     1. probability of exceeding a 5 year return period magnitude of the surface runoff index is forecasted to be greater than or equal to 10%

                     2. forecasted start of the event is < 48 hours in a region for which an EFAS partner exist

  • Affected area (“ERIC Affected Area”): river network which contributes to each ERIC reporting point, i.e. areas at risk from flash flooding (“ERIC Affected Area”)

ERICHA - Radar-based precipitation monitoring and nowcasting flash flood indicators

The ERICHA flash-flood indicator is generated from radar-based precipitation monitoring and nowcasting product, based from the European OPERA radar composite. This aims to capture very localised events difficult to predict from Numerical Weather Prediction systems, but only provide information up to 4 hours.

ERICHA flowchart

The ERICHA flash flood indicators modelling chain

Two ERICHA products exist:

  • Precipitation maps (“ERICHA 15-min accumulation precipitation” layer): 15-mn precipitation totals from the OPERA radar composite, updated every 15 minutes.

  • Flash flood hazard maps (“ERICHA - FF hazard levels forecasts” layer): sections of the river network highlighted because their flash flood forecast probability over the next 4 hours meets certain criteria. The thresholds are based on regional climatic characteristics and river basin upstream area as published by the MeteoAlarm consortium.

For more information

Alfieri, L., Thielen, J., 2015: A European precipitation index for extreme rain-storm and flash flood early warning. Meteorol. Appl., 22(1), 3–13, doi:10.1002/met.1328

Berenguer, M., Sempere-Torres, D., Pegram, G.G.S, 2011: SBMCast - An ensemble nowcasting technique to assess the uncertainty in rainfall forecasts by Lagrangian extrapolation. Journal of Hydrology 404 (3-4), 226-240, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.04.033

European Rainfall-InduCed Hazard Assessment system (ERICHA) - http://ericha.eu/

Fundel, F., Walser, A., Liniger, M.A., Frei, C., Appenzeller, C., 2010: Calibrated precipitation forecasts for a limited-area ensemble forecast system using reforecasts. Monthly Weather Review, 138(1), 176-189, https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/10.1175/2009MWR2977.1

Raynaud, D., Thielen, J., Salamon, P., Burek, P., Anquetin, S., Alfieri, L., 2015: A dynamic runoff co-efficient to improve flash flood early warning in Europe: Evaluation on the 2013 central European floods in Germany. Meteorological Applications, 22(3), 410–418, doi:10.1002/met.1469