In urban areas of Thailand, and especially in Bangkok, recent flash floods have caused severe damage and prompted a renewed focus to manage their impacts. The development of a real-time warning system could provide timely information to initiate flood management protocols, thereby reducing impacts. Therefore, we developed an innovative real-time flood forecasting system (RTFlood system) and applied it to the Ramkhamhaeng polder in Bangkok, which is particularly vulnerable to flash floods. The RTFlood system consists of three modules. The first module prepared rainfall input data for subsequent use by a hydraulic model. This module used radar rainfall data measured by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and developed forecasts using the TITAN (Thunderstorm Identification, Tracking, Analysis, and Nowcasting) rainfall model. The second module provided a real-time task management system that controlled all processes in the RTFlood system, i.e., input data preparation, hydraulic simulation timing, and post-processing of the output data for presentation. The third module provided a model simulation applying the input data from the first and second modules to simulate flash floods. It used a dynamic, conceptual model (PCSWMM, Personal Computer version of the Stormwater Management Model) to represent the drainage systems of the target urban area and predict the inundation areas. The RTFlood system was applied to the Ramkhamhaeng polder to evaluate the system’s accuracy for 116 recent flash floods. The result showed that 61.2% of the flash floods were successfully predicted with accuracy high enough for appropriate pre-warning. Moreover, it indicated that the RTFlood system alerted inundation potential 20 min earlier than separate flood modeling using radar and local rain stations individually. The earlier alert made it possible to decide on explicit flood controls, including pump and canal gate operations.
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