Precipitation is one of the agents leading to natural hazards that have very serious impacts on people’s life and goods: i.e. floods, debris flows, landslides...

The challenge faced by this Project is monitoring and forecasting the precipitation field at very high-resolution to produce better assessment of hazards induced by precipitation at local scale all over Europe.

With this aim, the Project will focus on the use of the Continental precipitation maps generated from the National radar networks in Europe within the EUMETNET programme OPERA (Matthews et al. 2011). OPERA has succeeded in generating a European precipitation field in real time with the resolution of radar measurements (2x2 km2 and every 15 minutes), which fulfils the requirements of many applications involved in assessing precipitation-induced hazards used for decision-making in Civil Protection agencies.

Besides of the obvious advantages of monitoring the precipitation field over Europe at high resolution, it has been showed that the use of Continental radar mosaics allows clear improvement, providing reasonable forecasts for lead times up to 3-6 hours (as showed, e.g., by Germann et al. 2006 using the U.S. radar mosaics).

Also, recent developments have been made to assess the uncertainty in radar-based nowcasting by means of different approaches to provide probabilistic ensemble nowcasting (e.g. Berenguer et al. 2011; Koistinen et al. 2011).

The goal of the Project is thus to develop a system for precipitation monitoring and forecasting to be used in the anticipation of hazards induced by precipitation at local scale and over Europe. The Project will capitalize on the OPERA mosaics and on the recent improvements on nowcasting techniques, some of which developed and tested within several FP6 and FP7 EC projects (among others FLOODSITE, HYDRATE, and IMPRINTS (www.imprints-fp7.eu), to generate high-resolution precipitation forecasts and hazard identification over Europe, as well as the associated uncertainty of these products.