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The rain in Spain stays mainly in the ... hydrometeorological models

The participants brought a wide range of potential use cases to the table, often based on their own ongoing operational work.

Last month, the Distributed Research Infrastructure for Hydro-Meteorology project (DRIHM) held its second summer school. The event brought together hydrometeorologists from 23 different countries, who learned about the latest computational approaches to critical hydrometeorological events, such as flash floods, thunderstorms, etc. The four-day hands-on workshop, which was hosted by the Technical University of Madrid in Spain, focused on doing hydrometeorological research at European scale, using the DRIHM e-science environment.

DRIHM supports user-driven composition of hydrometeorological forecasting chains, combining different models, post-processing tools, and data. It also provides unified access and seamless integration of networking, computing, and data services. In a process of 'learning by doing' the scientists accessing the DRIHM e-infrastructure carry out hydrometeorological research activities, while simultaneously working with ICT researchers to develop the necessary tools and practices to effectively exploit ICT resources for computing, archiving, and data processing.

The keynote address at the summer school was given by Franco Siccardi, president of CIMA research foundation and recipient of the Sergey Soloviev Medal in 2002. He emphasized the importance of using modeling chains in hydrometeorological research that accept inputs from a wide variety of sources. This, explains Siccardi, is vital in enabling better comparison of possible outcomes and reducing uncertainty in forecasts.

The key concepts and tools developed within DRIHM, such as the portal and the model-chaining method, were also presented at last month's event, before being tested - and challenged - by the summer-school participants. The participants brought a wide range of potential use cases to the table, which served as an excellent shakedown test for the DRIHM solutions.

Luis Garrote, director of the summer school, believes the event clearly demonstrated the value of DRIHM in research, with the feedback from the participants suggesting that another similar event in the future would be useful - perhaps even in an extended format. At the very least, last month's event should lead to some lively discussions on the DRIHM User Forum - why not get involved?

- Elisabetta Fiori, DRIHM project

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