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ECMWF GloFAS - Harvey+Irma Flood Area Grids

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Type: Resource
Storage: The size of this resource is 4.4 GB
Created: May 12, 2020 at 8:12 p.m.
Last updated: Nov 02, 2023 at 4:37 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.9ff2b9ad3eb74b06a5af8491c399ee57
Citation: See how to cite this resource
Content types: Multidimensional Content 
Sharing Status: Published
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These datasets were obtained from ECMWF/GloFAS on November 13, 2017, to include the flood forecast (area grid) for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the USA from August 15 - September 15, 2017. These are contained in netCDF files, one per day.

Note that while folders and files may have the words "areagrid_for_Harvey" in the name, all the data here are for the southeast USA, encompassing both Harvey and Irma impact areas.

Dataset variables:
- dis = forecasted discharge (for all forecast step 1+30 as initial value and 30 daily average values, with ensemble members as 1+50 where the first is the so-called control member and the 50 perturbed members)
- ldd = local drainage direction within routing model
- ups = upstream area of each point within routing model
- rl2,rl5,rl20 = forecast exceedance thresholds for 2-, 5- and 20-year return period flows, based on gumbel distribution from ERA-interim land reanalysis driven through the lisflood routing.

Models used (see [1] for further details):
- Hydrology: River discharge is simulated by the Lisflood hydrological model (van der Knijff et al., 2010) for the flow routing in the river network and the groundwater mass balance. The model is set up on global coverage with horizontal grid resolution of 0.1° (about 10 km in mid-latitude regions) and daily time step for input/output data.
- Meteorology: To set up a forecasting and warning system that runs on a daily basis with global coverage, initial conditions and input forcing data must be provided seamlessly to every point within the domain. To this end, two products are used. The first consists of operational ensemble forecasts of near-surface meteorological parameters. The second is a long-term dataset consistent with daily forecasts, used to derive a reference climatology.

Suggestions for usage:
- Selected software: ArcGIS or QGIS
- Select dis for example, then any of the bands (51*31 in total), then set the range manually to 0-1000 or something like that.

GloFAS [1]
From its public website: "The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), jointly developed by the European Commission and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), is independent of administrative and political boundaries. It couples state-of-the art weather forecasts with a hydrological model and with its continental scale set-up it provides downstream countries with information on upstream river conditions as well as continental and global overviews. GloFAS produces daily flood forecasts in a pre-operational manner since June 2011."

[1] GloFAS home page []

Subject Keywords



Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
North Latitude
East Longitude
South Latitude
West Longitude


Start Date:
End Date:


Data Services

The following web services are available for data contained in this resource. Geospatial Feature and Raster data are made available via Open Geospatial Consortium Web Services. The provided links can be copied and pasted into GIS software to access these data. Multidimensional NetCDF data are made available via a THREDDS Data Server using remote data access protocols such as OPeNDAP. Other data services may be made available in the future to support additional data types.

Related Resources

The content of this resource references
This resource updates and replaces a previous version European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) GloFAS (2018). ECMWF GloFAS - Harvey+Irma Flood Area Grids, HydroShare,
This resource belongs to the following collections:
Title Owners Sharing Status My Permission
Hurricane Harvey Flood Data Collections David Arctur · Harvey datamgr · Christine Thies  Published Open Access


Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID: Archiving and Enabling Community Access to Data from Recent US Hurricanes 1761673


People or Organizations that contributed technically, materially, financially, or provided general support for the creation of the resource's content but are not considered authors.

Name Organization Address Phone Author Identifiers
Peter Salamon European Commission Joint Research Centre Ispra, Italy
Ervin Zsoter ECMWF Reading, UK
Elisabeth Stephens University of Reading Reading, UK
Florian Pappenberger ECMWF Reading, UK
GloFAS Coordinator Christel Prudhomme ECMWF Reading, UK

How to Cite

European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) GloFAS (2023). ECMWF GloFAS - Harvey+Irma Flood Area Grids, HydroShare,

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.


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