CEMS-Flood Analytics and Dissemination Centre (CEMS DISS)
by Martin Halaj
The training was requested by the Slovak Water Management Enterprise (further as SVP). The enterprise became a new third party partner in autumn 2023. SVP is the manager of water courses and river catchments in Slovakia and it is divided into several branches, each one representing the main river basins. The branches are located in different regions of Slovakia and because of this fact, training was conducted separately to allow all officers to participate. All trainings were provided in person, in the form of a one-day meeting. CEMS DISS organized the activities: duty officers (further as DOs) led the training and the hands-on session. Participants from SVP were mainly DOs and team managers.
Training were held on the following dates and locations:
- Training for Hornád and Bodrog basin regional branch: 3rd October 2023 in Košice
- Training for Váh basin regional branch: 18th October 2023 in Ružomberok and 19th October 2023 in Piešťany
- Training for Dunaj basin regional branch: 25th October 2023 in Bratislava
- Final training for SVP: 30th November 2023 in Ružiná
Training for the Hron basin regional branch took place during the summer 2022. This regional branch of the SVP had already become an EFAS 3rd party partner in 2022. The reason was the implementation of flood control measures in the regional capital city Banská Bystrica.
Trainings for regional branches
All trainings for regional branches were provided in the form of a general introduction to the use of the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS). The main points of the training were:
- organisational structure,
- partner network,
- main tasks of EFAS,
- meteorological and hydrological models,
- definition of critical thresholds,
- EFAS flood and flash flood notifications,
- EFAS-IS user interface,
- satellite monitoring of flood events - Global Flood Monitoring and pre-tasking of CEMS Rapid Mapping.
The CEMS DISS team gave more detailed information on the background of CEMS-Floods for monitoring and forecasting and its history. Then they continued with an introduction to the background and operation of the forecasts. This included a background on the meteorological forecasting systems used (i.e. deterministic and probabilistic) and also on the criteria for issuing notifications, including the persistency and consistency in the forecasts. An important information about different computing of threshold levels for EFAS-IS was presented: EFAS threshold values are different from the national threshold values. Then the focus was on the different types of flooding that EFAS assesses (fluvial and flash flooding) and the different types of issued notifications (Formal and Informal Flood Notifications, and Flash Flood Notifications). EFAS forecasts are analysed twice a day by DISS DOs. The training included the description of the ERCC overview, a summary of active notifications and ongoing reported flooding.
The meeting of SHMÚ and SVP representatives near Ružiná was held to improve cooperation, exchange information and data and introduce new developments. The meeting also included the final training of SVP staff on the use of the EFAS-IS.
DISS considered products of satellite mapping useful for the river basin managers, therefore products such as the Global Flood Monitoring (GFM) and Rapid mapping service were described in a separate session. SVP was informed about the Authorised user and about the workflow on how to request satellite imagery based on EFAS forecast or on ongoing floods.
In the hands-on, interactive session, the EFAS-IS layers were described. Beside the basic layers, also Seasonal and Sub-seasonal outlook, Rapid Flood mapping and Rapid Impact Assessment layers were presented. The model performance and forecasting skill were also mentioned. All participants were trained step-by-step using their own laptops. The participants were assisted by four other DISS DOs present at the meeting. SVP stated that EFAS products can help them fulfil their tasks and CEMS DISS will be available to provide further support in the future.
How to request a training
All EFAS partners who wish to receive a training are welcome to contact the CEMS-Flood Analytics and Dissemination centre, either using the contact form on EFAS homepage or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The training for partners who also are data providers will envisage the participation of the CEMS Hydrological Data Collection Centre and of the CEMS Meteorological Collection Centre. (When submitting a request, please be aware that partners who have not received a training before will be prioritised).