WIT Press

FlaFloM – An Early Warning System For Flash Floods In Egypt


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193 - 202




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WIT Press


P. Vanderkimpen, I. Rocabado, J. Cools, M. El-Sammany & A. Abdelkhalek


The Flash Flood Manager project (acronym \“FlaFloM, co-funded by the EU under the LIFE Third Countries Fund) is aimed at developing an early warning system for forecasting flash floods in the Wadi Watier catchment, located in the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt). The system consists of a number of components, which are automatically activated and linked: a rainfall forecasting model (Weather Research and Forecast model), a hydrological model (custom-built to reflect arid region conditions), a hydraulic model (InfoWorks-RS) and a warning module (FloodWorks). Forecasts have a lead time of up to 48 hours. The system is currently in an operational testing phase. This paper provides a brief overview of the early warning system and addresses a number of challenges related to the development and calibration of the hydraulic model, as well as the definition of threshold levels in the warning module. Keywords: flash floods, forecasting, early warning system, emergency system. 1 Introduction Flash floods frequently occur in the Sinai Peninsula (Egypt). They often result in damage to infrastructure, loss of life, erosion and pollution of the coastal environment. As recently as January 2010, significant flash floods occurred throughout the area, resulting in the death of at least 5 people. The US National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office defines a flash flood as \“A flood caused by heavy or excessive rainfall in a short period of time, generally less than 6 hours. Flash floods are usually characterized by raging


flash floods, forecasting, early warning system, emergency system