HEPEX 2016 Year in Review

Contributed by Maria-Helena Ramos, QJ Wang, Andy Wood and Fredrik Wetterhall (Hepex co-chairs)

The Hepex Portal published 46 posts in 2016. Here below the year in review, with its highlights.

A hot topic for 2016?

Certainly, the winner is: Global, continental and countrywide forecasting. It was a recurrent topic in the posts published during the year. We have learned that:

  • The current state of large-scale (global and continental) operational flood forecasting is largely due to the integration of meteorological and hydrological modelling capabilities, improvements in data, satellite observations and land-surface hydrology modelling, and increased resources and computer power (by Rebecca Emerton)
  • Large scale models of complex basins with floodplains, braided drainage network, or flat relief is an ongoing research topic in Brazil (by Ayan Fleischmann and Fernando Fan)
  • One of the challenges of international forecasting systems is that these systems have to do with inconsistent collations of data from different countries (by Chantal Donnelly)
  • A new global precipitation dataset, the MSWEP, is available and can be useful for a broad range of hydrologic applications (by Hylke Beck et al.)
  • Handling large amounts of data for ensemble forecasting can be a nightmare, and benefits are expected from using standardised, well supported and self-describing binary file formats to make data sharing easier (by James Bennett)
  • There is an active community to support the integration of GloFAS forecasts into existing national and local forecasting capabilities (by Rebecca Emerton, Liz Stephens and Hannah Cloke)
  • Solutions to improve global forecasting can arise from a joint community effort such as the one shown by the #FloodHack held on 16 -17 January at ECMWF in Reading (by Fredrik Wetterhall)

And do you know any of those brave people who accepted being interviewed for Hepex in 2016?

Check out Hepex interviews here:

A big ‘thank you’ for all the interviewees!

The ensemble of Hepex interview posts can be seen here. If you know someone who would also have something to tell us, just prepare your interview and send the post to us for online publication in our Portal.

A step into historical hydrology

A novelty in the Hepex posts this year was the theme in a post proposed by Andy Wood and colleagues tracing the origins of ESP, a widely applied technique to produce streamflow seasonal predictions.  It will be great to see more posts on related forecasting history. If you have an idea that would be of interest to Hepex readers, just write it down!

And many more activities: workshop, columnist teams, special issue, experiments, games…

  • The highest point of our community activities in 2016 was certainly the workshop in Quebec in June, with about 100 participants from all over the world. A summary post highlighted the three main aspects discussed during the workshop: science, operations and applications. It shows how Hepex is contributing to each of these aspects and, most importantly, how it is fostering the community to link them for a more integrative view of hydrological forecasting. The workshop presentations that were kindly made available can be retrieved here.
  • In 2016, we have introduced the Hepex guest columnist teams. CSIRO (Australia), SMHI (Sweden), LSH (Brazil), and Irstea (France) contributed a total of 16 posts over the year. You can see all posts here, and enjoy reading about their activities, views and opinions on hydrological forecasting and related topics.
  • Also, right in the beginning of the year, we launched the HESS special issue on sub-seasonal to seasonal hydrological forecasting. This was one of the outputs of the workshop in Norrköping/SMHI held in 2015. There are already 13 papers in this special issue, and it will remain open for submissions until 31 Mar 2017. You are welcome to propose your contribution.
  • Another output is the Seasonal streamflow forecast experiment. Data has been collected, formatted and a protocol for inter-comparisons is developed. We expect that in 2017 the first results will emerge. If you want to take part in it, check the dedicated webpage and contact the leaders of the experiment. You can also check the poster and the oral presentation we had at AGU 2016 in San Francisco.
  • Another HEPEX experiment that has been recently launched is the Data Assimilation inter-comparison experiment. It comes after the Hepex workshop in Quebec, when we had a successful “break-out session” on the topic. The DA experiment is being piloted by Dirk Schwanenberg (Kisters) and Albrecht Weerts (Deltares). Contact them if you want to participate.
  • We cannot forget that 2016 has seen the first online Hepex game: check what Louise Arnal has proposed to the community here. And if you have new ideas for new games, just go ahead and share it with us in the next year.

Most viewed post of the year?

Well, we think you can guess which one hit (again) the podium with over 600 views… if not, just check here and enjoy reading it!

So, what’s next for 2017?

  • Don’t miss the hydrological forecasting sessions at EGU on 23-28 April in Vienna: the deadline for abstract submission is 11 Jan 2017. Descriptions (and a quiz to entertain you during your holidays) can be found in this post.
  • Next year will also see the IAHS 2017 Scientific Assembly. This time the International Association of Hydrological Sciences will be holding workshops in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from 10 to 14 July 2017. Hepex particularly encourages you to submit an abstract and participate to Session 12 – Probabilistic forecasts and land-atmosphere interactions to advance hydrological predictions. You have until 14 Feb 2017 for submissions.
  • And if you have not done it yet, submit your paper on seasonal forecasting to our special issue (see above) before 31 Mar 2017.
  • And certainly much more to come! Keep an eye on our Portal!

We invite you all to contribute with your own blog posts (tips can be found here) and to support the organization of Hepex activities in 2017.

Happy holidays!


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