ICFM – Webinar No.6
Real-time Urban Flood Forecasting:
Current Status and Future Challenges
June 14, 2021

Urban floods have been on the rise for the past two decades, having affected 2 billion people worldwide in mostly coastal cities. An urban flood forecasting system can be considered as an effective nonstructural and standalone measure for making a city flood-resilient by warning residents and stakeholders well in advance. The existing urban flood forecasting models for coastal and inland cities are either simple rainfall-runoff models that do not incorporate tidal volume, or simple mass balance and overland flow that do not consider drainage networks. A completely stand-alone flood forecasting system plan, though highly recommended, has not been designed or studied as much. An integrated flood warning system with atmospheric, hydrologic, coastal, and data mining components is the need of the hour. Such a system should have a weather forecasting unit, tide & storm surge forecasting unit, data assimilation system, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling system with information dissemination interfaces. For example, a flood forecasting expert system, initiated by the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, was designed for the flood-prone Chennai metropolis as a possible means for flood management through appropriate interventions for dealing with future extreme events. Such a system involves the coupling of regional weather forecast model, tide forecast model, tidal flood model, urban overland flow model, and stormwater drainage model.

The sixth ICFM webinar will focus on Real-time Urban Flood Forecasting and how it can help deal with the challenges faced by different flood stakeholders. This 60-minute event will include three presentations that will bring to the issues: (1) real-time monitoring of meteorological-hydrological parameters, (2) numerical and statistical rainfall forecasting, (3) coupled flood modeling, and (4) reliable information dissemination system, in addition to the uncertainty associated with climate change. We hope to bring clarity on the possibilities of implementing urban flood forecasting systems in a sustainable manner.



Slobodan P. Simonovic
Water Resources Specialist, ICFM Chairperson, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Western University, Canada


- Urban meteorology and flood forecasting

Subimal Ghosh
Professor, Dept. of Civil Engg., Convener, Interdisciplinary Programme in Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India

- Real-time Scheduling and Forecasting System for Urban Flood in Coastal Cities

Zongxue XU
Distinguished Professor, College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University; Director, Beijing Key Laboratory of Urban Hydrological Cycle and Sponge City Technology

- Increasing risks and challenges of compounding floods in a changing climate

Roxy Mathew Koll
Scientist, Centre for Climate Change Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Adjunct Faculty, University of Pune, IMD Meteorological Training Institute, and CAT-ESSC, IITM

Q & A session


Watch the playback here or click the link


Presentations can be accessed here:


Moderator: Subhankar Karmakar, Professor, Environmental Science and Engg. Dept., Associate faculty, Interdisciplinary Programme in Climate Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India   
Technical support: Medcon Conference Service Platform (MEDCON)


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