Articles | Volume 5, issue 5
Special issue:
06 Oct 2005
06 Oct 2005

The 8 and 9 September 2002 flash flood event in France: a model intercomparison

S. Anquetin, E. Yates, V. Ducrocq, S. Samouillan, K. Chancibault, S. Davolio, C. Accadia, M. Casaioli, S. Mariani, G. Ficca, B. Gozzini, F. Pasi, M. Pasqui, A. Garcia, M. Martorell, R. Romero, and P. Chessa

Abstract. Within the framework of the European Interreg IIIb Medocc program, the HYDROPTIMET project aims at the optimization of the hydrometeorological forecasting tools in the context of intense precipitation within complex topography. Therefore, some meteorological forecast models and hydrological models were tested on four Mediterranean flash-flood events. One of them occured in France where the South-eastern ridge of the French "Massif Central", the Gard region, experienced a devastating flood on 8 and 9 September 2002. 24 people were killed during this event and the economic damage was estimated at 1.2 billion euros.

To built the next generation of the hydrometeorological forecasting chain that will be able to capture such localized and fast events and the resulting discharges, the forecasted rain fields might be improved to be relevant for hydrological purposes.

In such context, this paper presents the results of the evaluation methodology proposed by Yates et al. (2005) that highlights the relevant hydrological scales of a simulated rain field. Simulated rain fields of 7 meteorological model runs concerning with the French event are therefore evaluated for different accumulation times. The dynamics of these models are either based on non-hydrostatic or hydrostatic equation systems. Moreover, these models were run under different configurations (resolution, initial conditions). The classical score analysis and the areal evaluation of the simulated rain fields are then performed in order to put forward the main simulation characteristics that improve the quantitative precipitation forecast.

The conclusions draw some recommendations on the value of the quantitative precipitation forecasts and way to use it for quantitative discharge forecasts within mountainous areas.


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