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Performance Evaluation of a Nowcasting Modelling Chain Operatively Employed in Very Small Catchments in the Mediterranean Environment for Civil Protection Purposes

Published: 18 June 2021
 by  MDPI
Atmosphere , Volume 12; doi:10.3390/atmos12060783

Abstract: The Hydro-Meteorological Centre (CMI) of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liguria Region, Italy, is in charge of the hydrometeorological forecast and the in-event monitoring for the region. This region counts numerous small and very small basins, known for their high sensitivity to intense storm events, characterised by low predictability. Therefore, at the CMI, a radar-based nowcasting modelling chain called the Small Basins Model Chain, tailored to such basins, is employed as a monitoring tool for civil protection purposes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of this model chain, in terms of: (1) correct forecast, false alarm and missed alarm rates, based on both observed and simulated discharge threshold exceedances and observed impacts of rainfall events encountered in the region; (2) warning times respect to discharge threshold exceedances. The Small Basins Model Chain is proven to be an effective tool for flood nowcasting and helpful for civil protection operators during the monitoring phase of hydrometeorological events, detecting with good accuracy the location of intense storms, thanks to the radar technology, and the occurrence of flash floods.
Keywords: radar-based nowcasting / operational hydrological modelling / small basins / flash floods predictability / flood warning / civil protection / model performance evaluation

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