Monday, 16 September 2013

UK's floods forecast

In UK, Environment Agency is the entity that " forecast floods and warn the public." It  also raise awareness of flooding in areas prone to it, and recommend that people living there make preparations in advance.

It use's the latest technology 24 hours a day to monitor rainfall, river levels, groundwater levels and sea conditions. Combined with weather data and tidal reports from the Met Office, it can provide local area forecasts on the possibility of flooding and its likely severity. The operational teams remain on standby to determine which of defences to operate and when, working round-the-clock until the threat of flooding has passed.
It issue's three different kinds of flood warnings: Flood Alert, Flood Warning and Severe Flood Warning. 
Flood risk is not just the likelihood of flooding, but the possible damage a flood could do as well.
When we talk about flood risk we mean two things:
  • the likelihood of a particular flood happening. This is expressed as an annual chance or probability. For example, 'In this location, there is a 1 in 100 chance of flooding in any given year'
  • the impact or consequences that will result if the flood occurs
We need to know both the probability of a flood occurring and the severity of any impact (which may change depending on how extreme the flood is). Then we can describe what the risk is for a particular area.
Environment Agency carry out flood risk assessments based on information about the hazards and types of risk a flood presents, and their likely social, environmental and economic impacts. Flood risk assessments look at:
  • the source of a flood, eg river, tidal or coastal water
  • the paths that the water will take during floods, and how the severity of a flood affects its path
  • the impact on the people, land and property affected by flooding. This includes physical, emotional, social or economic harm.
  • historical data from past floods
  • present water levels
Risk assessments establish the nature and scale of the existing risk, and how this may change over time or as a result of any flood risk management measures we put in place.

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