Region VI: Europe
The WMO Regional Office for Europe serves the needs of the 50 Member States, covering Europe, South Caucasus, and the Middle East. The geographical diversity of the region introduces a wide range of climatic and meteorological challenges that have consequential impacts on society and the environment.
Projects in the region
Flash Flood Guidance System with Global Coverage (FFGS)
Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5 000 lives lost annually. Their social, economic and environmental impacts are significant. Accounting for approximately 85% of flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate among different classes of flooding, including riverine and coastal. Flash floods differ from river floods in their short time scales and occurrence on small spatial scales, which makes flash flood forecasting a different challenge from large-river flood forecasting. In flash floods forecasting, we are concerned mostly with the forecast of occurrence, and focus on two causative events: 1) intense rainfall; and 2) rainfall on saturated soils. Flash floods occur throughout the world, and the development times vary across regions from minutes to several hours depending on the land surface, geomorphological and hydrometeorological characteristics of the region. However, for the majority of these areas, there exists no formal process or capacity for developing flash flood warnings.