New guidance on coastal forecasting systems
Recently the Environment Agency have released their best practise guidance framework on the development of Coastal Forecasting Systems. I was able to work on the good practice framework with a range of technical experts from JBA, HR Wallingford, the Environment Agency, Met Office and National Oceanographic Centre.
Large parts of the UK are at risk of coastal flooding, in a scenario that is becoming increasingly common in Australia as more infrastructure is developed at the coastline. A major form of coastal risk management has been through the development of comprehensive forecasting systems, which offer advanced warning of coastal surges, waves, overtopping and inundation up to a week in advance.
The new framework is designed to bring greater consistency when developing these systems because, simply put, they can be very complicated. Unfortunately, there is no one numerical model capable of simulating all of the processes required to predict a coastal risk. Instead a suite of models need to be coupled together, which typically include global, national, and local scale models to simulate atmospheric processes, wave transformation, overtopping, coastal inundation, in addition to linking with rainfall and river models.
This Good Practice Framework gives a good overview of how these systems can be developed and reviewed if already in place. It’s a very useful resource to have, and should be relevant to the international community.