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Global Streamflow Forecasts


The Group on Earth Organizations (GEO) started GEOGLOWS (GEO Global Water Sustainability) to promote essential water variable understanding, minimize basin and regional risk, and enhance global water sustainability. During the first GEOGLOWS meeting, plans were made to create a global streamflow forecasting service. Powered by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the global streamflow forecasting pilot has been developed and implemented in South America, Africa, and southern Asia.

The global streamflow forecasting pilot includes different aspects aligned with global water sustainability. The Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) creates a hydrograph for grid locations and compares it to historical data. With this information, GloFAS then calculates the daily flood forecasts for each grid location. By using Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge (RAPID), the grid is divided into watersheds.

The Streamflow Prediction Tool (SPT), is an app developed by the BYU hydroinformatics lab to visualize streamflow forecasts. The SPT can display watersheds and areas at potential risk, as well as individual streams to get specific streamflow data. For each stream, the SPT can display 35 years of historical data and up to a 15-day streamflow forecast. The 15-day forecast, shows the maximum, minimum, average, and standard deviation of predicted streamflows from 51 different scenarios.

With the integration of the SPT with GloFAS, high resolution streamflow predictions can be obtained through most of the world. These predictions have been an effective tool in watershed management and flood protection. GEOGLOWS, with the help of BYU’s Hydroinformatics lab and other partners, is continually increasing the accuracy of both tools and their application thoughout the world. GEOGLOWS plans to have the streamflow forecasting tool completely global in the coming years.

Global streamflow forecasting pilot applications:

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