Flash flood warning app for Southeastern Europe

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Flash floods are hydrometeorological phenomena with enough power to change the course of rivers, bury houses in mud, and sweep away or destroy whatever is in their path in a very short time after the observable causative event, and as such their prediction presents a considerable challenge to forecasters. To address this, the Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) has been designed and developed under the remit of the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) for use by meteorological and hydrological forecasters throughout the world.

In order to support the daily operational work of Southeast European (SEE) forecasters and assist participating national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) in issuing flash flood warnings, the Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS) has developed an application that generates email alerts once the SEEFFGS indicates positive flash flood threats, and alerts forecasters on their cell phones and via email.

The hope is that the app will furnish forecasters with accurate information about the possibility of flash flood occurrence and their location (county and sub-basin), with sufficient lead time to issue effective warnings.

“With FFGS email alerts, all interested parties will be in a position to have valuable information at their disposal that is essential for issuing timely and accurate flash flood warnings,” said Jelena Jerinic, chief of hydrological forecasting unit, Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia.

“In the situation of the coronavirus outbreak, this is a valuable opportunity to share information quickly about potentially vulnerable flash flood regions as an output from the FFGS. Thanks to TSMS to create this very helpful application. The email alarm system is especially useful and easy to use. It significantly simplifies and speeds up the flow of information to the forecasters and from forecasters to the decision makers when issuing alerts.”

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