Soil moisture data can be used for drought prediction and to improve flood forecasts. Data sets derived from satellite sensors are freely available in near real time. The image archives on soil moisture go back to the late 1970s.
The Technical University Vienna (TU Wien), the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik (ZAMG) and private sector actors have opened the „Earth ObservationData Centre for Water Resources Monitoring“ (EODC) earlier this year.
Several people have died after torrential rains and subsequent floods in southern France on 17 and 18 September 2014. The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 18 September by Direction Générale de la Sécurité Civile et de la Gestion des Crises (COGIC) in order to obtain satellite-based maps of the flood and its impacts. SERTIT will be the Project Manager for this activation.
Bangladesh is one of the most flood-prone countries in the world. However, a combination of heavy monsoon rainfall and the arrival of meltwater from the Himalayas has led to exceptionally heavy floods in Bangladesh in the summer of 2014.
This is event is available for participation on an ongoing basis
Experts from European, American and Near-East National Weather Services will provide an insight into the challenges of forecasting critical weather events such as storms, avalanches and floods. What uncertainties do forecasters encounter when dealing with high impact weather? How can they warn people and how long is the lead time?
According to a recent study published by the re-insurance company Swiss Re, the total economic losses from natural catastrophes and man-made disasters were USD 140 billion in 2013. Of these, the global losses that were insured amounted to USD 45 billion. Most of these losses were caused by disasters triggered by natural hazards, such as floods and hail events.