GloFAS

If you don’t know what the acronym GloFAS stands for then join the club, neither did I until today. Here is an explanation from their own website about who they are and what they do.


The Global Flood Awareness System GloFAS is the global flood service of the European Commission Copernicus Emergency Management Service, an operational system monitoring and forecasting floods across the world GloFAS is made of two complementary systems:

  • GloFAS 30-day, a daily hydrological forecast which provides a quick overview of upcoming flood events for the next 30 days
  • GloFAS Seasonal, a monthly hydrological forecast which provides river flow outlooks highlighting unusually high or low river flow up to 16 weeks ahead

The aim of GloFAS 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). GloFAS only focuses on rivers, and does not provide real-time forecast information on flash flood risk or coastal flooding, nor on inundated areas.

The GloFAS system is composed of an integrated hydro-meteorological forecasting chain and of a monitoring system that analyses and updates results daily (GloFAS 30-day) and monthly (GloFAS Seasonal). GloFAS forecasts of possible flood episodes and unusually high/low river flow for all major rivers of the world are shown through a dedicated web platform, the GloFAS map viewer.

GloFAS is designed as an operational tool for decision makers, including national and regional water authorities, water resources managers, hydropower companies, civil protection and first line responders, and international humanitarian aid organisations. It has become an operational service in April 2018, following a pre-operational phase started in 2011.


I never realised GloFAS existed as a service until now although it’s been operational now for almost two years. You need to create an account to use the GloFAS map viewer, which seems to be based on Bing mapping from Microsoft and seems pretty smart and easy to use, even if the resolution on some of the map layers does seem a little coarse. In the latest flooding forecast the next ten days rainfall accumulations make grim viewing if you live in the Outer Hebrides. I wonder why they include the Trent and Thames river basins in their mapping but not the Severn or the Ouse?

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