In memoriam Gábor Bálint
With these lines we would like to pay respect to Gábor Bálint – an enthusiastic hydrologist, a promoter of probabilistic flood forecasting, and a devoted supporter and member of HEPEX. His unexpected death is a great loss for the hydrological community.
After his degree as civil engineer at the Russian State Hydro-meteorological University in St. Petersburg in 1973, Gábor worked at VITUKI Environmental Protection and Water Management Research Institute in Hungary.
Since 2008, he was leading the Hungarian Hydrological Forecasting Service where his expertise and knowledge on hydro-meteorological data and forecasting has helped to shape the operational flood forecasting service in Hungary until today.
Gábor was very open and supportive to international cooperations. He shared the vision of a European system for forecasting floods with the aim to improve sharing of data and information across borders and to foster understanding and collaboration on European scale. Hungary, thus became one of the first members of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) project.
Since its initiation in 2004, Gábor was an active member of HEPEX, participated in workshops, discussions, managed dedicated EGU-HEPEX sessions, and contributed with research on probabilistic flood forecasting. But not only was he concerned with hydrology today, but also contributed to the hydrological sections of the IPCC reports.
Gábor was an internationally recognised and highly esteemed hydrologist. His visiting scientist and invited lecturer record included institutes in Kuwait, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, and Romania.
He was delegated as hydrological expert to the World Meteorological Organization in 1993 and 1995. He was also an active member of the Hungarian Hydrological and the Meteorological Society, and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS). In 2011, Gábor was awarded the Pro Aqua medallion.
The HEPEX community will miss Gábor not only as an outstanding hydrologist, but also for his fine humour, kindness, his interests and broad culture.