A Flash Flood Early Warning System: Algorithm and Architecture


  • Asokan Jayaram
  • Sanjoy Deb




Flash Flood, WSN, Microcontroller, RF Transmitter-Receiver, Rain Gauge sensor


The flash flood is one of the most lethal forms of natural hazards and every year damages colossal properties and causes human deaths. An early flash flood detection and warning system can provide an effective solution to this problem by giving people sufficient time to evacuate and protect their life and property. On the other hand, presently Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) based systems are widely used as an effective warning system against different hazard scenarios e.g.; fire, tsunami etc. Such WSN based system can also be design to generate an early warning against the Flash Flood and such system is high on demand. This system will be having sensor nodes, processing unit and warning unit etc, for successful prediction and warning generation. Under present work, a WSN based indigenously designed, low cost, accurate and automated Flash Flood Early Warning (FFEW) system has been proposed and studied with technical details.  The algorithm of the central processing unit/block for the proposed system has been implemented with MATLAB Simulink and also hardware implemented with PIC microcontroller. Experimental outcomes show that such system will be very much effective to generate a valuable early warning against the devastating flash floods and will be helpful in preventing huge collateral damage.



[1] World Meteorological Organization (2013) The Global Climate 2001-2010: a decade of climate extremes [online] Available from: http://library.wmo.int/opac/index.php?lvl=notice_display&id=15110[Accessed: 7th Jan 2014].

[2] Indian Meteorological Department and National Disaster Management (2013) Year wise flood report [online] Available at: http://www.imd.gov.in/ and http://www.ndmindia.nic.in/Accessed: 10th Jan 2014].

[3] University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, USA (Report under COMET Program), (2010) Flash Flood Early Warning System Reference Guide 2010, [Online] Available from: http://www.meted.ucar.edu/hazwarnsys/haz_fflood.php [Accessed: 14th Jan 2014].

[4] Drobot, S. et.al. (2007) Advances and challenges in flash flood warningsâ€, Environmental Hazards, 7, p.173–178.

[5] Abdelkhalek, A. (2011) Development of an early warning system for flash floods in wadi Watir – Sinai desert, PhD thesis at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium.

[6] Cools, J. et.al. (2012) An early warning system for flash floods in hyper-arid Egypt , Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 12, p. 443-457.

[7] Sene, K. (2013) Flash Flood Forecasting and Warning, Springer, 14-Dec-2012 - SCIENCE, p. 169-198.

[8] Anurag, K. (2013) “Early flood warning system set up in Assam districtsâ€, (online) July 22, 2013 20:26 IST. Available from: www.rediff.com/news/report/early-flood-warning-system-set-up-in-assam districts/20130722.html.

[9] Dargie, W. & Poellabauer, C. (2010), Fundamentals of Wireless Sensor Networks: Theory and Practice, John Wiley & Sons, 05-Nov-2010, p. 20-60.

[10] Adhami,K.(2012)Programming PIC Microcontroller: Software for triggering circuit using PIC16F877A Microcontroller, LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, Germany, p. 100-150.

View Full Article: