On the 16th-18th October I visited the Joint Research in Ispra with Florian Pappenberger to meet with Jutta Thielen and others involved in the Global and European Flood Awareness Systems (GloFAS and EFAS). I delivered a seminar to a small group of researchers about my previous research and the work that I have proposed to do with GloFAS, and had an interesting discussion with Vera Thiemig about her work on users of flood forecasts and Early Warning Systems in Africa (see here, paywalled), which ties in quite well with the work that I propose to do in understanding end-users requirements for lead time and their definitions of a successful forecast.
An initial meeting with Florian, Jutta Thielen, Peter Salamon and Beatriz Revilla-Romero discussed the work that has recently been carried out at JRC and ECMWF with respect to global flood forecasting, and outlined the planned future developments that might provide further opportunities for my fellowship project. We also discussed observed data availability now and into the future and how we could collaborate to produce the best datasets for both observations and vulnerability.
The question of how best to represent vulnerability within an early warning system is an interesting one – a small magnitude flood in one location might have a much larger impact than a large magnitude flood in another, and this should perhaps affect how a warning is communicated to the end-user of the forecast. This is a clear example of how engagement with end-users is vital for the development of these early warning systems, and for the success of this project.