The FLASH Project : using lightning data to better understand and predict flash floods


Price C, Yair Y, Mugnai A, Lagouvardos K, Llasat MC, Michaelides S, Dayan U, Dietrich S, Galanti E, Garrote L, et al. The FLASH Project : using lightning data to better understand and predict flash floods. Environmental Science & Policy [Internet]. 2011;14 :898–911.


The FLASH project was implemented from 2006 to 2010 under the EU FP6 framework. The project focused on using lightning observations to better understand and predict convective storms that result in flash floods. As part of the project 23 case studies of flash floods in the Mediterranean region were examined. For the analysis of these storms lightning data from the ZEUS network were used together with satellite derived rainfall estimates in order to understand the storm development and electrification. In addition, these case studies were simulated using mesoscale meteorological models to better understand the meteorological and synoptic conditions leading up to these intense storms. As part of this project tools for short term predictions (nowcasts) of intense convection across the Mediterranean and Europe, and long term forecasts (a few days) of the likelihood of intense convection were developed. The project also focused on educational outreach through our website http:// supplying real time lightning observations, real time experimental now- casts, forecasts and educational materials. While flash floods and intense thunderstorms cannot be prevented as the climate changes, long-range regional lightning networks can supply valuable data, in real time, for warning end-users and stakeholders of imminent intense rainfall and possible flash floods.