Virtual Event: Using ECMWF's Forecasts (UEF2020)

Evaluation of GloFAS river discharge reanalysis and forecast skill


Shaun Harrigan (ECMWF)


The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS; is a 24/7 supported operational service monitoring and forecasting floods across the world. GloFAS is part of the European Commission’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) with ECMWF as the computational centre. Its aim is to complement relevant national and regional authorities and services, and to support international organisations in decision making and preparatory measures before major flood events, particularly in large trans-national river basins. Critical to both forecast end-users and scientific development is evaluation of the river discharge reanalysis and forecast quality. This poster provides the first evaluation of the current operational GloFAS system, version 2.1 (released 5 November 2019). Two products are evaluated: i.) GloFAS-ERA5 reanalysis (1979-present) against a global network of 1801 river discharge stations; and ii.) GloFAS ensemble forecast skill based on 20 year (1997-2016) 11-member ensemble reforecasts against a river discharge persistence benchmark for short, medium, and extended lead times, with respect to GloFAS-ERA5 reanalysis. The GloFAS-ERA5 reanalysis, reforecasts, and real-time forecast data are openly available to users with details on how to access them on the GloFAS documentation:

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