Abstract Operational flood forecasting in Canada is a provincial responsibility that is carried out by several entities across the country. However, the increasing costs and impacts of floods require better and nationally coordinated flood prediction systems. A more coherent flood forecasting framework for Canada can enable implementing advanced prediction capabilities across the different entities with responsibility for flood forecasting. Recently, the Canadian meteorological and hydrological services were tasked to develop a national flow guidance system. Alongside this initiative, the Global Water Futures program has been advancing cold regions process understanding, hydrological modeling, and forecasting. A community of practice was established for industry, academia, and decision‐makers to share viewpoints on hydrological challenges. Taken together, these initiatives are paving the way towards a national flood forecasting framework. In this article, forecasting challenges are identified (with a focus on cold regions), and recommendations are made to promote the creation of this framework. These include the need for cooperation, well‐defined governance, and better knowledge mobilization. Opportunities and challenges posed by the increasing data availability globally are also highlighted. Advances in each of these areas are positioning Canada as a major contributor to the international operational flood forecasting landscape. This article highlights a route towards the deployment of capacities across large geographical domains.
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.
Abstract. In situ measurements of water equivalent of snow cover (SWE) – the vertical depth of water that would be obtained if all the snow cover melted completely – are used in many applications including water management, flood forecasting, climate monitoring, and evaluation of hydrological and land surface models. The Canadian historical SWE dataset (CanSWE) combines manual and automated pan-Canadian SWE observations collected by national, provincial and territorial agencies as well as hydropower companies. Snow depth (SD) and bulk snow density (defined as the ratio of SWE to SD) are also included when available. This new dataset supersedes the previous Canadian Historical Snow Survey (CHSSD) dataset published by Brown et al. (2019), and this paper describes the efforts made to correct metadata, remove duplicate observations and quality control records. The CanSWE dataset was compiled from 15 different sources and includes SWE information for all provinces and territories that measure SWE. Data were updated to July 2020, and new historical data from the Government of Northwest Territories, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan Water Security Agency, and Hydro-Québec were included. CanSWE includes over 1 million SWE measurements from 2607 different locations across Canada over the period 1928–2020. It is publicly available at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4734371 (Vionnet et al., 2021).