Algorithms to forecast natural disasters?


civil engineering


by Servei de Comunicació i Promoció
January 2011

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Is it possible to forecast, two hours in advance, whether there will be flash floods and heavy rain in areas near major rivers? Researchers at the UPC are designing the forecast and alert systems to do so.

Felipe Quintero. Centre for Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI)

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Felipe Quintero swears that he loves bad weather. When it rains at night, he thinks, ‘We’ll have our work cut out for us tomorrow, analysing all the data and running the simulations!’

This young researcher is doing his PhD at the Centre for Applied Research in Hydrometeorology (CRAHI) within the framework of the IMPRINTS project, which is funded under the EU’s 7th Framework Programme and coordinated by UPC lecturer Daniel Sempere.

The IMPRINTS project seeks a better understanding of the phenomena that cause flash floods and debris-flow events, in order to improve risk management and develop forecasting and warning systems that increase public safety in situations involving flood risk. Nineteen public and private institutions from Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Holland, South Africa and Canada are participating in the project.