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123 Rainfall-Runoff Models for Real-Time Forecasting

Part 11. Rainfall-Runoff Modeling

  1. Ezio Todini

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa131

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Todini, E. 2006. Rainfall-Runoff Models for Real-Time Forecasting. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 11:123.

Author Information

  1. University of Bologna, Department of Earth and Geo-Environmental Sciences, Bologna, Italy

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


This article describes the use of rainfall-runoff models within the frame of real-time flood forecasting and warning. After assessing the requirements of real-time flood forecasting systems, some of the more well known ones available for operational purposes are briefly mentioned. The different types of rainfall-runoff models used in practice are then presented, within the framework set on the one hand by the operational system requirements, and on the other hand by the historical evolution of research and development in the fields of hydrological and meteorological forecasting. After discussing the problems of real-time updating and of the assessment of the predictive uncertainty, two example applications are illustrated. The article concludes with a description of current and future research themes for extending the forecasting lead time, assessing forecasting uncertainty, and appropriately communicating it to the end users.


  • rainfall-runoff;
  • floods;
  • real-time;
  • forecasting;
  • uncertainty;
  • mathematical models