Global Flood Model
The global flood model forecasts the risk for synoptic scale flooding four days from the current day. The model considers current and forecast rainfall within a historical context using statistical methods to consider seasonality and rainfall extremes. Each forecast day is valid for a Zulu day (00UTC to 23UTC) is updated at 08UTC each day. This package includes feature services for each forecast day as well as a breakdown of flood risk by country area.
How is a Flood defined?
A risk of flood is expected when daily or hourly rainfall totals, integrated over a week-long period, are expected to reach a level above the climatological normals or location-specific thresholds for a region and time of year. The categories of flood potential indicate an increased risk for impactful flooding. This model version does not consider snow melt, nor riverine flood risk - contact our team for information on other, more robust modeling capabilities.
Flood Risk Categories
Minor Flood Risk - low intensity flooding is possible, street/urban flooding.
Moderate Flood Risk - moderate intensity flooding is possible, street/urban and small stream flooding possible.
Major Flood Risk - high potential for flooding with moderate potential for mudslide/landslide/riverine impacts where applicable
Extreme Flood Risk - very high potential for flooding, high confidence with impacts to daily life and supply chain, and high potential for mudslide/landslide/riverine impacts where applicable.
Destructive Western European Flood July 12-15, 2021
July 12-15, 2021 was a 1-in-100-year rainfall event across parts of western Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. A 1-in-100-year event means there is just a 1% chance of a flood event like that happening during a given year. The historic flood disaster resulted from an unusual combination of weather factors, including a slow-moving area of low pressure and deep tropical moisture in place, that conspired to produce record-setting rainfall. Western Germany was one of the hardest hit areas, where 5-7 inches of rain fell in less than two days. That's double the average July rainfall. Some of the most extreme rainfall reports:
Reifferscheid received 8.1 inches in just 9 hours
Cologne received 6 inches in the 24 hours
Lüdenscheid received 4.5 inches of rain in 24 hours
It wasn't just the rainfall totals themselves that were exceptional, but the rainfall rates. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water (7% more water vapor for every 1 degree Celsius of warming) so extreme rainfall events like what happened in Western Europe are expected to increase in frequency and intensity. Climate change is also expected to weaken steering currents that move weather systems, called blocking patterns, which will result in slower moving storm systems that are capable of dropping immense amounts of rain and/or snow over vulnerable areas.
What is a Zulu Day?
Zulu time, also known as UTC, Universal Co-ordinated Time, is the same time all around the world. There are neither time zones nor daylight saving time. Zulu time (UTC) is based on GMT, Greenwich Mean Time. Knowing this if you live in NewYork and it is 10pm EST Saturday night to convert the time to UTC you would get 3am Sunday morning as time and date.
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Jan 19, 2022