Hazards induced by convective storms and heavy rains (e.g. floods) become disasters when and where they interact with exposed and vulnerable societal systems, e.g., human life and activities, assets, and infrastructure. Recent progress in seamless probabilistic multi-source hazard forecasting induced by heavy rainfall has made it possible to produce predictions from the nowcast (several minutes) to short-medium ranges (5 days), enabling consistent decision making at both emergency response and planning level. However, Civil Protection agencies still face multiple challenges hampering their active decisions. These challenges include high false alarm rates, absence of multi-hazard forecasts (e.g. heavy rainfall, flood, lightning, wind gusts, hail) including their simultaneous risk assessment, and difficulty in translating hazard forecasts into impact-based decisions. This project aims to address those three main challenges using innovative, state-of-the-art science, and integration of developed products in the existing systems (e.g. the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) platform) to support pro-active emergency management at different scales. This will be achieved by (i) improving the existing products and tools with enhanced impact assessment and warning capacity, and (ii) delivering them through operational platforms and new web services, for effective integration into existing Civil Protection systems. The products and tools developed in the project will be assessed against their usefulness for decision making through case study evaluation and real-time demonstration in regional Civil Protection Agency systems.
There are four beneficiaries in the project: the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the Kymenlaakso Rescue Department (Kympe), together with the coordinator Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI). Additionally, there are six stakeholders from three countries, including Civil Protection operators in Finland and Catalonia as well as a national environmental authority. The project is an extension to the former projects HAREN, EDHIT, ERICHA, and SMUFF.