JASPERS Networking Platform

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1 JASPERS Networking Platform Promoting climate change adaptation, risk prevention and management in the Water Sector UK Emergency Warning System Rachel Brisley, Technical Director & Sophie Dusting, Analyst JBA Consulting Ltd. Brussels, October 2014

2 Contents Importance of flood warnings UK Weather Warning Service Flood Warning Service Action at the Local Level 2

3 3 Why are Flood Warnings needed? What is the aim of issuing a flood warning? What are the implications if there is no flood warning service? The floods of last year (Summer 2007) caused the country s largest peacetime emergency since World War II. Pitt Review, July 2008 Early warning is a major element of emergency planning and response plans, preventing loss of life and reducing the impact of the emergency.

4 4 Overall System MET Office Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) (MET Office & EA) Environment Agency (EA) Flood Forecasting Service MET Office Weather forecasts (publicly available), Severe Weather Warnings FFC Flood Guidance Statements to emergency services, local authorities, health, transport & utilities EA Flood Warnings sign up via Floodline Warnings Direct

5 Roles and responsibilities 5 Role Official source of meteorological information in the UK. Services National Severe Weather Warning Service Public Weather Service Forecasts Local Weather Advisors Met Office Environment Agency Flood Forecasting Centre Strategic overview of flood risk & coastal erosion management. Operational management of the risk of flooding from main rivers, reservoirs, estuaries & the sea. Flood Warning Service Support & intelligence to the EA s flood warnings service & the Met Office s National Severe Weather Warning Service. Flood Guidance Statement Extreme Rainfall Alert service Responsibilities* Weather forecasts Flood Warnings Flood forecasting

6 6 UK Weather Warning Service Met Office weather monitoring and forecasting

7 Weather monitoring and forecasts Met Office Met Office = UK s National Weather Service - area of weather forecasting & climate change. Provide a range of services & products to the public, government & business including early warning systems. Location specific forecasts: 5 day forecasts for 7000 specific locations, in 3 hourly time steps Forecasting services - provide up to a 30 day outlook. Early warning systems: severe weather warnings, plume predictions & tidal alerts. Has provided weather warnings since 1861 gale warnings set up following a violent storm which took 460 lives at sea. 7

8 National Severe Weather Warning Service Severe Weather Warnings issued up to 5 days ahead for the UK - rain, snow, wind, fog & ice. Warning levels = combination of he likelihood of the event happening & the impact the conditions may have. Likelihood & impact combined together in a matrix to decide the level of risk - yellow, amber & red. 8

9 National Severe Weather Warning Service 9 The Met Office gives advance warning of severe weather to the public, government & businesses. Risk High Likelihood You may need to take action as we are expecting... There will be... Medium We should be prepared for... There is likely to be... Low Be aware of the potential/possibility... There is the small chance of... Very Low Be aware that there is a very small risk of...

10 10 Flood Warning Service Environment Agency

11 Environment Agency Flood Warning Service (England different services in Wales, Scotland, NI) Environment Agency is a public body sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs key environmental regulatory body Constantly monitor rainfall, river levels and sea conditions to forecast the possibility of flooding Provides river, tidal & coastal flood alerts & warnings & groundwater alerts in England no warnings for surface water. Monitoring stations measure the levels of rivers, lakes, sea & groundwater Measurements taken electronically by sensors in the river, stored on site & sent back to the EA via telemetry systems to databases used by forecasting systems. Duty officers review river levels & forecasting outputs against flood warnings thresholds. Also work with Met Office through the Flood Forecasting Centre - combining the meteorology & hydrology expertise to forecast for river, tidal & coastal flooding as well as extreme rainfall which may lead to surface water flooding. 11

12 EA Flood Warning Guide 12

13 Flood Warning in practice 13

14 2013 storm surge compared with

15 Forecast led response 5/6 December

16 QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Think about experience of your own country: What information is needed to develop a project to improve your own Early Warning System? What should be considered in developing warnings for fast (short) and slow (long) responding catchments? Do different organisations/communities need different notice times (lead times)? What message should you provide when issuing a Flood Warning? How do businesses and organisations know what it means and how should they act? Methods of disseminating warnings What are the barriers and how can these be overcome? 16

17 17 Rachel Brisley JBA Consulting Technical Director ph: mail:

18 18 For info or further questions on this presentation, or on the activities of the JASPERS Networking Platform please contact: Massimo Marra JASPERS Networking Platform Senior Officer ph:

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