Connecting hydrological modelling and forecasting from global to local scales: Perspectives from an international joint virtual workshop
Bart van Osnabrugge,
Journal of Flood Risk Management
Abstract The unprecedented progress in ensemble hydro‐meteorological modelling and forecasting on a range of temporal and spatial scales, raises a variety of new challenges which formed the theme of the Joint Virtual Workshop, ‘Connecting global to local hydrological modelling and forecasting: challenges and scientific advances’. Held from 29 June to 1 July 2021, this workshop was co‐organised by the European Centre for Medium‐Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the Copernicus Emergency Management (CEMS) and Climate Change (C3S) Services, the Hydrological Ensemble Prediction EXperiment (HEPEX), and the Global Flood Partnership (GFP). This article aims to summarise the state‐of‐the‐art presented at the workshop and provide an early career perspective. Recent advances in hydrological modelling and forecasting, reflections on the use of forecasts for decision‐making across scales, and means to minimise new barriers to communication in the virtual format are also discussed. Thematic foci of the workshop included hydrological model development and skill assessment, uncertainty communication, forecasts for early action, co‐production of services and incorporation of local knowledge, Earth observation, and data assimilation. Connecting hydrological services to societal needs and local decision‐making through effective communication, capacity‐building and co‐production was identified as critical. Multidisciplinary collaborations emerged as crucial to effectively bring newly developed tools to practice.
Learning from hydrological models’ challenges: A case study from the Nelson basin model intercomparison project
Tricia A. Stadnyk,
A. R. Bajracharya,
Bryan A. Tolson,
Helen C. Shen,
James R. Craig,
Shane G. Wruth,
Stephen J. Déry,
Henry David Venema,
Journal of Hydrology, Volume 623
Intercomparison studies play an important, but limited role in understanding the usefulness and limitations of currently available hydrological models. Comparison studies are often limited to well-behaved hydrological regimes, where rainfall-runoff processes dominate the hydrological response. These efforts have not covered western Canada due to the difficulty in simulating that region’s complex cold region hydrology with varying spatiotemporal contributing areas. This intercomparison study is the first of a series of studies under the intercomparison project of the international and interprovincial transboundary Nelson-Churchill River Basin (NCRB) in North America (Nelson-MIP), which encompasses different ecozones with major areas of the non-contributing Prairie potholes, forests, glaciers, mountains, and permafrost. The performance of eight hydrological and land surface models is compared at different unregulated watersheds within the NCRB. This is done to assess the models’ streamflow performance and overall fidelity without and with calibration, to capture the underlying physics of the region and to better understand why models struggle to accurately simulate its hydrology. Results show that some of the participating models have difficulties in simulating streamflow and/or internal hydrological variables (e.g., evapotranspiration) over Prairie watersheds but most models performed well elsewhere. This stems from model structural deficiencies, despite the various models being well calibrated to observed streamflow. Some model structural changes are identified for the participating models for future improvement. The outcomes of this study offer guidance for practitioners for the accurate prediction of NCRB streamflow, and for increasing confidence in future projections of water resources supply and management.