22 Jun 2021 , last updated 22 Jun 2021

GloFAS v3.1 Launch Webinar - Recording now available

On the 27th of May 2021, a webinar launched the next operational release (version 3.1) of the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service - an important web service for global hydrological forecasting and monitoring that supports anticipatory action. The webinar was co-hosted by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service, ECMWF, the Joint Research Centre and the Anticipation Hub

You can access the recording of the event here.

On Youtube you can find a playlist for the GloFAS v3.1 webinars. You can view the individual presentations and demonstrations including:

  • Introduction and opening remarks
  • What is new in GloFAS v3.1?
  • GloFAS and Anticipatory Action
  • Q&A session 
  • Demonstrations 1) Hydrological layers 2) Initial conditions 3) Meteorological layers 4) Flood risk layers and 5) Static and evaluation layers A brief introduction to GloFAS - by the Joint Research Centre
View playlist here

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What is GloFAS and what is changing?

The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) is an operational, freely accessible web service for global hydrological forecasting and monitoring, run as part of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS). The CEMS Early Warning and Monitoring component supports the preparedness and emergency response at the European and global level, through the provision of early warning, risk and impact assessment, and monitoring of specific natural hazards – namely floods, forest fires and droughts – through publicly accessible on-line services. 

The new version of GloFAS v3.1 includes the following features and new products:

  • New system based on the open-source LISFLOOD model 
  • Updates of the reporting points and rapid risk assessment layers
  • New layers on modelling skill
  • Availability of both operational (GloFAS v3.1) and legacy (GloFAS v2.2) forecasts in parallel

Here you can watch the overview presentation of what is new in GloFAS v3.1. In the same playlist you can watch specific demonstrations about the new features. 

How has GloFAS been used to support anticipatory action? 

The global hydrological forecast information available through GloFAS has been used to support decision-making to complement national-level hydrological forecasts with longer-lead times and probabilistic predictions, as well as to provide an interim forecasting system where national systems are not available. This forecast information has been used by scientists and practitioners to co-develop ‘triggers’ and protocols for early action. 

In Uganda GloFAS was used to trigger Forecast-based Action by the Uganda Red Cross Society enabling them to act-early by distributing preparedness items ahead of the impact of floods (Read more here and in a recent blog on the Anticipation Hub). In Bangladesh the GloFAS 10-day probabilistic forecasts were used alongside those from the national Flood Forecasting and Warning Centre to trigger the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in 2020 - read more here. Furthermore, this publication discusses the verification of such global flood forecasting models. 

Here you can watch the presentation provided by Dr. Liz Stephens, Associate Professor at University of Reading and Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre which further discussed how GloFAS is used to support anticipatory action.