Articles | Volume 11, issue 5
Research article
23 May 2011
Research article |  | 23 May 2011

Perturbation of convection-permitting NWP forecasts for flash-flood ensemble forecasting

B. Vincendon, V. Ducrocq, O. Nuissier, and B. Vié

Abstract. Mediterranean intense weather events often lead to devastating flash-floods. Extending the forecasting lead times further than the watershed response times, implies the use of numerical weather prediction (NWP) to drive hydrological models. However, the nature of the precipitating events and the temporal and spatial scales of the watershed response make them difficult to forecast, even using a high-resolution convection-permitting NWP deterministic forecasting. This study proposes a new method to sample the uncertainties of high-resolution NWP precipitation forecasts in order to quantify the predictability of the streamflow forecasts. We have developed a perturbation method based on convection-permitting NWP-model error statistics. It produces short-term precipitation ensemble forecasts from single-value meteorological forecasts. These rainfall ensemble forecasts are then fed into a hydrological model dedicated to flash-flood forecasting to produce ensemble streamflow forecasts. The verification on two flash-flood events shows that this forecasting ensemble performs better than the deterministic forecast. The performance of the precipitation perturbation method has also been found to be broadly as good as that obtained using a state-of-the-art research convection-permitting NWP ensemble, while requiring less computing time.