002 - Flood Prediction

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Attempts at flood prediction, including changes in weather forecasting and uncertainty in climate modelling.


Flood prediction is associated with possibilities. Knowledge (data) of various climatic conditions and fluvial processes are collected from different sources and analyzed to make predictions. The organisations that have the resources to make these predictions with a high level of certainty/success have great power.


  • To evaluate attempts at flood prediction including changes in weather forecasting and uncertainty in climate modelling.

Key Terminology

            • Stream Gauge data

            • Infrastructure

            • Global Flood Monitoring System

            • Flood Recession

            • Inundation

Define the words above using the 'Freshwater' text book by Codrington and the useful links below.

Useful Links

Activity One - Watch

We are going to watch a youtube clip to remind ourselves about the key causes of flooding as we have had a few sleeps since we last studied flooding! Watch the youtube clip below on the causes of flooding and write down five different causes of flooding and how each cause can be predicted.

Activity Two - Predictions

Answer the questions below to get you started on what the different types of flood alerts are and why it is important to categorise floods to help predict and prepare for these potential events.

      1. What is the difference between a severe flood warning, flood warnings, and flood alerts?

      2. Use the first website in the 'Useful Resources' box and describe one alert that is in place today (if there is one).

      3. How does the Global Flood Monitoring System work? Use the youtube clip below to help you answer the question.

Activity Three - Uncertainty?? TOK Link

Climate Change is a controversial topic and there are countries which deny that our global climate is changing. Therefore when it comes to predicting floods some areas of the world do not forecast the future but rely purely on past data. As we know the data that is used to prove or disprove our theories can be tainted with error and bias so how valid is our data on climate change? How do we truly believe what we know?

      1. Watch the YouTube clip on the left below and mind map why flood prediction can be a tricky business.

      2. Watch the Tedx CERN talk and make notes on why there is uncertainty in Climate Science, and how this can impact our ability to predict floods.

Useful Resources

The challenge of flood prediction


How to love uncertainty in climate science.

Ted X

Exam Style Question

‘The prediction of floods is complex, and includes many variables’. Discuss this statement. [10 marks]

This lesson was development in collaboration with Richard Allaway from geographyalltheway. For more resources please visit www.geographyalltheway.com