Future hydrological extremes may be very different from today's reality and difficult to predict. The objective of IMPREX (Improving predictions and management of hydrological extremes) is to support the reduction of Europe’s vulnerability to hydrological extremes through improved understanding of the intensity and frequency of future disrupting events.

Recent hydrological extreme events demonstrate the vulnerability of European society to water-related natural hazards, and there is strong evidence that climate change will worsen these events in the coming years. Changed water-related extremes will have important implications on the water sector and the design of water management practices. We do not only want to know what's going on with our climate, we also need to know how to respond and act. Enhancing our forecasting capability will increase the resilience of the European society as a whole, while reducing costs for strategic sectors and regions. IMPREX is built upon a strong team of experts from public and private sectors as well as universities and research institutes with complementary skills and experiences. The direct involvement of a broad range of users from key economic sectors will ensure the relevance of the project outputs.

Project Goals

  • Develop methods and tools to improve the forecasting of meteorological and hydrological extremes and their impacts.
  • Develop novel risk assessment concepts for hydrological extremes that respond to limitations of current methods and assessment practices.
  • Demonstrate in a set of case studies the value of information on hydrological impacts to relevant stakeholders at regional and European scale.
  • Develop a prototype periodic outlook of multi-sectoral and trans-regional risks for hydrological hazards.

Role of SMHI

The role of SMHI in IMPREX is threefold; first to provide date from dynamical downscaling with non-hydrostatic regional climate models in very high resolution, second to improve of short-term (days) prediction of extreme precipitation events by assimilating surface remote sensing data regarding snow and soil moisture in the Harmonie NWP model, and third to improve hydrological (E-HYPE) forecast skills of extreme events through data assimilation and multi-model combination across time scales. The forecasts will be evaluated in a number of case studies.

SMHI is leading Work Package 3 on “Improved meteorological predictability and climate scenarios”.

Project partners

The IMPREX consortium consists of a combination of research institutions, operational hydrometeological services, SMEs with a strong risk assessment and communication portfolio, governmental stakeholders and users of hydrometeorological forecasts and risk assessments in private and public entities. The complete list of project partners can be found here.


IMPREX is a European Union Horizon 2020 Project funded under grant agreement No 641811.


IMPREX will run from 2015 to 2019.

Contact person at SMHI

Erik Kjellström