Anticipation of flash floods and rainfall-induced hydro-geomorphic hazards: short-range observational and forecasting strategies.
Co-organized by GM1/NH1
Convener: Olivier Payrastre | Co-conveners: Clàudia AbancóECSECS, Jonathan Gourley, Pierre Javelle, Massimiliano Zappa

Flash floods triggered by heavy precipitation in small- to medium-sized catchments often cause catastrophic damages, which are largely explained by the very short response times and high specific peak discharge. Often, they are also associated with geomorphic processes such as erosion, sediment transport, debris flows and shallow landslides. The anticipation of such events is crucial for efficient crisis management. However, their predictability is still affected by large uncertainties, due to the fast evolution of triggering rainfall events, the lack of appropriate observations, the high variability and non-linearity in the physical processes, the high variability of societal exposure, and the complexity of societal vulnerability.
This session aims to illustrate current advances in monitoring, modeling, and short-range forecasting of flash floods and associated geomorphic processes, including their societal impacts.
Contributions related to the floods that occured in July 2021 in Germany and Western Europe, and in October 2020 in France and Italy (Alex storm) are particularly encouraged this year.
Contributions on the following scientific themes are specifically expected:
- Monitoring and nowcasting of heavy precipitation events based on radar and remote sensing (satellite, lightning, etc.) to complement rain gauge networks;
- Short-range (0-6h) heavy precipitation forecasting based on NWP models, with a focus on seamless forecasting strategies and ensemble strategies for the representation of uncertainties;
- Understanding and modeling of flash floods and associated geomorphic processes at appropriate space-time scales;
- Development of integrated hydro-meteorological forecasting chains and new modeling approaches for predicting flash floods and/or rainfall-induced geomorphic hazards in gauged and ungauged basins;
- New direct and indirect (proxy data) observation techniques and strategies for the observation or monitoring of hydrological reactions and geomorphic processes, and the validation of forecasting approaches;
- Development of impact-based modeling and forecasting approaches, including inundation mapping and/or specific impacts modeling approaches for the representation of societal vulnerability.