International Workshop on Forecasting Rainfall induced Hazards at European Scale
Heavy rainfalls are the triggering agent of a number of natural hazards affecting our society through their impacts over the outdoor exposed activities and assets. Classically floods, and specifically flash floods, have been considered the main natural hazard directly caused by heavy rainfalls, but this perception is moving towards the new paradigm of "heavy rainfall induced hazards" as new areas of relevant socioeconomic interest requiring specific hazard assessment appear.


Regarding all these weather-affected activities, and more precisely in the case of Flash Floods, the main requirement is to anticipate the occurrence of heavy rainfalls with high spatial and time resolution. Capability that is the crucial point to provide appropriate hazard assessment to be used by Civil Protection authorities.


The advancements of the last decades in rainfall forecasting with Numerical Weather Prediction models have been recently completed with the improvements on the very short-term rainfall forecasting (called nowcasting) using radar rainfall composites. The high-resolution of radar-based estimates and their capability to capture the short-term evolution of the rainfall field make them a crucial source of information to anticipate the effects of these intense rainfalls.


The EU Civil protection Prevention and Preparedness project HAREN has developed a high-resolution system for rainfall monitoring and forecasting that has been used to demonstrate its ability to support the anticipation of rainfall-induced hazards at European scale. It capitalizes on the recent improvements on nowcasting techniques, some of which developed and tested within several FP6 and FP7 EU projects, and on the European radar precipitation composites generated within the EUMETNET program OPERA and available since early 2011.


Besides of the obvious advantages of monitoring the precipitation field over Europe at high resolution, HAREN has showed that the use of OPERA radar mosaics support the generation of reasonable highresolution forecasts for lead times up to 3-6 hours. Also, advanced developments have been made to assess the uncertainty in the radarbased nowcasting by means of different approaches to provide probabilistic ensemble nowcasting.


The present HAREN Workshop is a collaborative effort with the Emergency Response Centre (DG ECHO) to show the results of the project, which essentially prove the crucial value of the OPERA European radar composites.


A number of recognized specialists have been invited to provide details about the techniques of rainfall nowcasting, its transformation into rainfallinduced hazard assessments and about the results obtained during the HAREN verification tests.


The workshop is oriented to Emergency managers from Civil Protection Centres and to the Meteorological forecasters supporting them, and it wants to promote a discussion about how to face together the challenge of facing rainfall-induced hazards at European Scale in the XXI century.



The workshop presentations are now available HERE
The photo gallery of the workshop is now available HERE
The HAREN video is now available HERE