An integrated tool for forecasting tropical cyclone induced floods : the SPICY project

Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Plaza Grand Ballroom (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Francois Bonnardot, Meteo-France, Sainte-Clotide, Reunion; and H. Quetelard, O. Bousquet, D. Barbary, C. Barthe, S. Bielli, J. Meister, S. Lecacheux, R. Pedreros, F. Paris, E. Chateauminois, A. Nicolae-Lerma, J. Rohmer, R. Recouvreur, M. C. Germain, S. Sauvagnagues, P. A. Ayral, and F. Tena-Chollet

Handout (1.7 MB)

Most French Overseas Territories are located within tropical regions and thus exposed to cyclone-induced hazards such as marine and river inundations. They share specific issues as most of them are quite small steep volcanic islands with a complex orography. Therefore, the potential coastal and hydrological impact is tightly related to the track and the intensity evolution of the tropical cyclone (TC) transiting nearby. Although TC track and intensity forecast have been steadily improving for the last decades, a great amount of uncertainty remains. Risk managers or public agencies need both a reliable forecast of the TC evolution and induced impacts and an estimation of the forecast uncertainty.

SPICy project aims at tackling the issue of cyclonic coastal and inland floods forecast in the French Overseas Territories through the development of technological building blocks and the realization of a demonstrator for Réunion Island. To reach this objective, the project will address some limitations of the current forecasting system and contribute to international ongoing efforts on cyclonic and induced impacts prediction, focusing on : (1) the assessment of meteorological forecast uncertainties through the use of ensemble tracks generation techniques (2) high resolution meteorological modelling taking into account orography and real-time data assimilation (3) the extension of forecast information to coastal and inland floods through the development of dedicated modules, notably in urban areas (4) the study of marine/river interaction and its consequences on the flood extent (5) the management of computation times and the investigation of optimization techniques (6) the development of users interfaces to improve the accuracy and relevance of the information provided to emergency managers.

The originality of the project is the interdisciplinary approach that enables building a comprehensive strategy to holistically address cyclonic forecast issues for this type of Territory. Beyond the development and combination of physical models, the novelty of SPICy also lies in the consideration of crisis operators demands at an early stage of the project.

The proposed poster will present an overview of the SPICy project and preliminary results.

This work is supported by the French National Research Agency (ANR – 14 – CE03 – 0013). More details on the project are available at

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