Forecasting floods for a safer future – Hannah Cloke


[MUSIC] My name’s Hannah Cloke, and I’m from the University of Reading. Last year’s flooding here in the UK again brought home the enormous social
and economic impacts of flooding. I’m interested in developing techniques to help us prepare better for flooding
by improving forecasting particularly of severe flood events. So here’s the soil moisture, and we can see that it’s very blue which means it’s very wet, there’s been
quite a lot of rain across these parts of Europe So that we can predict floods we need to know when and where it will
rain, or when the snow is melting and how this water moves through, and
under, the landscape to rivers, and eventually downstream to places
where people live and work. But not only is rainfall and
snowmelt very difficult to forecast, the landscape
around us is incredibly complex. This means that
even our best scientific equations cannot always accurately predict when and
where it will flood and how big that flood will be. My
research looks at how we can use flood forecasts, based on the likelihood that they will
happen – the probability. points here flagged up with the possibility of flooding here And this is where we provide a whole range of predictions that can
communicate the forecast uncertainty so we can say which scenarios are most
likely to happen and also understand what the worst case
could be. This helps us to evaluate the risks and
make more informed decisions about whether we should evacuate a whole
village or shut a floodgate. I work closely with flood forecasters and industry partners, to advance the
design and practical application of flood forecasting and warning systems, in the UK and internationally, such as the European Flood Awareness System This is the European Centre for
Medium-range Weather Forecasts and here we do global weather forecasting. This is the home of the European
Flood Awareness System, EFAS. Thanks to Hannah’s contribution, EFAS is now an operational system that delivers early flood warnings to many
authorities in Europe. This work has had a real impact in that
we are now better prepared for floods And as we take these techniques forward we could reduce flood risk to people
across the world. [MUSIC]

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