Establishing Flash Flood Guidance Systems (FFGSs) for South America
16-18 August 2016, Lima, Peru
In South America, flash floods account for a significant portion of the lives lost and property damages that result from natural disasters. Given that flash floods can occur at any time or place with disastrous results, there is an urgent need to prioritize efforts that aim to improve early warnings capabilities. Improvements help society cope with flash flood threats by enabling the mandated national authorities to undertake appropriate measures, thereby contributing to protecting the population at risk from the disastrous effects of flash floods.
The purpose of this project is the development and implementation of regional flash flood guidance and early warning systems. The approach will entail development of regional technology, training, protocols and procedures to help mitigate the impacts from flash flooding. The application of such systems allows the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of the participating countries to provide timely early warnings of flash flooding. Please refer to the Project Brief and Implementation Requirements for additional information on the project and its requirements.
Initial Planning Meeting
Based on the desirability and need for the establishment of regional flash flood guidance system for South America, an initial planning meeting was organized by WMO and was held from 16 – 18 August 2016. The meeting was hosted by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Peru (SENAMHI) in Lima, allowing participants the opportunity of presenting on their current forecasting and warning practices. Participants were also briefed and were provided demonstrations of the FFGS applied to the Zarumilla River Basin, which was a pilot project undertaken for the transboundary basin shared between Ecuador and Peru. The participants also were given an overview of the technology underlying the FFGS, as well as the operational concepts including the need for establishing National and Regional Centres. The meeting also discussed the need for Quantitative Precipitation Forecast products that could result from high resolution numerical weather prediction models that could possibly be made available through a Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project. All present indicated the need for advancing national capabilities for the provision of early warnings of hydrometeorological hazards, notably flash floods. The meeting developed a list of conclusions and recommendations on a path forward for the development and implementation of FFGSs in South America, which are contained within the final report of the meeting. A tour of the meteorological and forecasting operational offices of SENAMHI were also arranged and allowed an opportunity for stimulating discussions on early warning systems.
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