Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) with Global Coverage


  • U.S. Agency for International Development/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID/BHA
  • Climate Risk Early Warning System (CREWS
  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)
  • World Bank Group (WBG)

Project Partners:

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA
  • National Weather Service (NWS
  • Hydrologic Research Center (HRC)

Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5,000 lives lost annually. Accounting for approximately 85% of flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate among different classes of flooding.

Flash floods differ from river floods in their short time scales and occurrence on small spatial scales, which makes flash flood forecasting a different challenge from large-river flood forecasting

To address the issues associated with flash floods, especially the lack of capacity to develop effective flash flood warnings, the Flash Flood Guidance System (FFGS) was designed and developed for interactive use by meteorological and hydrological forecasters throughout the world. In support of the FFGS project, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the WMO, the U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID), the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service (NOAA) and the Hydrologic Research Center (HRC) to work together under a cooperative initiative to implement the FFGS worldwide.

FFGS is necessary to provide operational forecasters and disaster management agencies with real-time informational guidance products pertaining to the threat of small-scale flash flooding. FFGS is a robust system designed to provide the products needed to support the development of flash flood warnings from rainfall events using remote-sensed precipitation (that is, radar and satellite-based rainfall estimates) and hydrological models. 

Regional and National FFGS projects

Within the scope of the FFGS implementation, the following regional and national projects have been implemented:

  • Black Sea and Middle East FFGS: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel and Türkiye (RC);
  • Central Asia Region FFGS: Kazakhstan (RC), Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan;
  • Central America FFGS: Costa Rica (RC), Belize, El Salvador (back-up RC), Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama;
  • Fiji FFGS
  • Haiti and Dominican Republic FFGS: Dominican Republic (RC) and Haiti;
  • Mekong River Commission FFGS: Cambodia (RC is Mekong River Commission (MRC)), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam;
  • Myanmar FFGS
  • Northwest South America FFGS: Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (RC)
  • Southern Africa Region FFGS: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa (RC), Eswatini, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
  • Pakistan and Afghanistan Regional FFGS: Pakistan (RC) and Afghanistan;
  • South Asia FFGS: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India (RC), Nepal and Sri Lanka;
  • Southeast Asia FFGS: Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thailand and Viet Nam (RC);
  • Southeastern Asia-Oceania FFGS: Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia (RC), Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Timor-Leste;
  • South East Europe FFGS: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, and Türkiye (RC);
  • West Africa FFGS: Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger (RCs are located in Senegal and Niger).


  • enhance the capacity of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) to issue effective flash flood warnings and alerts;
  • enhance collaboration between NMHSs and National Disaster Management Agencies;
  • foster national and regional development and collaboration;
  • generate flash flood warnings by using the hydrometeorological forecasting models;
  • provide extensive training; and
  • support the WMO Flood Forecasting Initiative.

Training Program

For more information about the extensive FFGS training program and the Moodle platform, please click on the image below:

FFGS online training platform

FFGS Sustainability Strategy

Based on the findings of an external Review of the Global FFGS that was completed in 2018, the outcomes of the Global FFGS Workshop held in 2019, experience gained in forecasting and provision of warnings of flash floods, the insights of the FFGS Partners and the authors of the report, and the suggestions of the report’s many reviewers, FFGS Partners jointly with Standing Committee on Hydrological Services (SC-HYD) and FFGS National and Regional Centres, developed FFGS Sustainability Strategy with the goal of providing the vision and approaches to be taken to help attain sustainability of the FFGS.

Sustainability Strategy for the FFGS identified four critical factors, which are needed to achieve the much-desired sustainability.

These four factors are:

  • Developing an inclusive and broadened governance model;
  • Increasing and strengthening the training effort;
  • Increasing visibility of the FFGS; and
  • Developing additional financial and human resource support. 

Sustainability Strategy for the FFGS was approved by the Hydrological Assembly and World Meteorological Extraordinary Congress in October 2021 (Cg-Ext 2021).

FFGS Global Workshops:

To learn more about the largest global FFGS events, the FFGS Global Workshops, please click on the following links: 


To obtain more information, please watch the video below or contact WMO at: ffgs@wmo.int