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Hydrology Research Special Issue on

Learning from Past Flood Events to Improve Preparedness in a Changing Climate




It is well known that anticipatory action, such as taking action before water starts to rise, helps mitigate the impacts of major flood events. The ability to take these early actions relies on integrated systems of data, models and efficient communication. As such events are rare, there are limited opportunities to test our flood warning systems. There remains much to learn about how components such as forecast accuracy, trust and timeliness combine with communication strategies, preparedness and risk awareness to influence the response to flood warnings. 

2021 was an exceptional year for flooding. From urban floods in London, New York and Xhenghou (China), to tropical cyclone-related flooding in Mozambique, and landslides and damaging floods in Canada and across Asia, the devastating impact of extreme rainfall was never far from the news. The widespread flooding in Europe in July 2021 initiated an overdue conversation about the preparedness of governments and institutions to respond to such large and devastating events.

As the climate continues to change, heavy precipitation events are expected to become more intense and to occur more frequently in many areas. By focusing on the water-driven disasters of 2021, this Special Issue will provide an opportunity for the hydro-meteorological community to critically reflect on the contributions science has made, or can make, to improving preparedness, and to identify the remaining challenges to build flood-resilient futures.

We invite contributions on extreme rainfall events that cover any aspect of the warning chain from observations to meteorological forecasting, flood modelling, flood forecasting, communication, early action, and links to policy and decision-making. Operational and research perspectives from around the world are welcomed.

We are pleased to invite you to submit a manuscript to Hydrological Research for peer review and possible publication in a Special Issue entitled ‘Learning from the Floods of 2021’.


Relevant topics include:

  • Flood modelling and mapping;
  • Flood forecasting;
  • Preparedness & resilience;
  • Communication & warning;
  • Early Action;
  • Climate Attribution;
  • Decision-support;
  • River floods, Coastal floods, Flash floods, Urban floods, Landslides;
  • Compound events;
  • Post event reviews;
  • Governance and institutional frameworks.


Key dates:

Deadline for manuscript submission: June 30th 2023

Expected publication: Papers will be published online as soon as possible after acceptance


Guest Editors:

Linda Speight, School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, UK

Nevil Quinn, Geography and Environmental Management, University of West of England, UK

Michael Cranston, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, UK

Adele Young, IHE Delft, Netherlands

Arielle Tozier de la Poterie, Anticipation Hub / German Red Cross, USA


How to submit:

Please make sure that your paper follows the Instructions to Authors of the journal, before submitting your paper directly to Hydrological Research’s peer review system. Then choose the article type – ‘Special Issue Article OA’ and the submission category – ‘Special Issue: Floods of 2021’. This will send your paper to one of the Guest Editors.

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