WIT Press

New Developments At The Flood Forecasting Centre: Operations And Flood Risk Guidance


Free (open access)





Page Range

237 - 248




889 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


C. Pilling


The Flood Forecasting Centre (FFC) is a partnership between the UK Met Office and the Environment Agency, established in 2009, to provide an overview of flood risk across England and Wales. Based at the Met Office in Exeter, the FFC provides flood guidance services covering England and Wales, primarily for the emergency response community.

The FFC provides forecasts for all natural sources of flooding, these being fluvial, surface water, coastal and groundwater. This involves an assessment of possible hydrometeorological events in the next five days as well as their likely impacts. In addition, during times of heightened flood risk, close communication between the FFC and the Environment Agency allows mobilization and deployment of staff and flood defences at longer lead times. This mobilization is becoming increasingly important and high profile within Government.

This paper considers new developments in forecasting fluvial, surface water and coastal flood risk. This includes: (1) implementing Met Office deterministic and ensemble high-resolution numerical weather prediction data feeds to drive the distributed hydrological model, Grid-to-Grid (G2G); (2) a prototype for surface water hazard impact model; and (3) improvements in coastal flood forecasting. However, challenges remain, for example, improving forecasting at short lead times through improved nowcasting, also longer lead time forecasting beyond day 5, and integrated system modelling to, for example, capture the complex interactions between fluvial and coastal flooding.


flood forecasting, risk based, joined up communication, emergency response