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COST Action 731

Propagation of uncertainty in advanced meteo-hydrological forecast systems

cost731_ico.gif Project type: European project
Funding institution: European Science Foundation
Program: 6th European FP
Code: COST731
Period: February 2005 - June 2010
Status: In progress
Web: COST 731

The main objective of the Action is to address issues associated with the quality and uncertainty of meteorological observations from remote sensing and other potentially valuable instrumentation. It will also consider their impacts on hydro-meteorological outputs from advanced forecasting systems.

Dealing with uncertainties in a flood forecasting and warning production chain in a consistent way comprises the following general stages:

1. atmospheric observation (e.g. precipitation by radar) and quality characterization;
2. assimilation of atmospheric observations into a NWP system;
3. probabilistic atmospheric forecasting in a NWP system (ensembles, neural networks, other)
4. hydrological modelling with atmospheric observations and forecasts, including their associated uncertainties;
5. flood response decision making (especially protection vs. evacuation), management decisions during the event and public warnings.

Radar scientists are mainly concerned with stage 1, NWP modellers with stages 2 and 3. Hydrologists deal with stage 4 but, at present, without making extensive use of radar precipitation estimates and NWP precipitation forecasts. Learning from the COST-717 experience and recognizing the need for an effective interdisciplinary collaboration in order to deal with the propagation of uncertainty from one part of the system to the next in a coherent way, Working Groups (WGs) are defined on the interfaces between the participating communities in the following way:

* WG-1 Propagation of uncertainty from observing systems (radars) into NWP;
* WG-2 Propagation of uncertainty from observing systems and NWP into hydrological models;
* WG-3 Use of uncertainty in warnings and decision making.

It will be instrumental in the initial phase of the Action to ensure that observationalists and NWP modellers are in WG1, atmospheric and hydrological modellers in WG2, and hydrologists and end users. COST 731 aims at an enhanced interaction through systematic organization of plenary sessions as an integral part of its biannual meetings. It is expected that this strategy will be effective in bridging remaining gaps among these and to end-user communities. The following subjects lend themselves as plenary themes:

* Concepts and measures of uncertainty;
* Predictability and error growth;
* Data coverage and streams (both for radar and NWP data);
* MAP FDP issues as possible testbed/showcase.

, Orfila, B.