In the last decades, the Sahelian area was hit by an increase of flood events, both in frequency and in magnitude. In order to prevent damages, an early warning system (EWS) has been planned for the Sirba River, the major tributary of the Middle Niger River Basin. The EWS uses the prior notification of Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) to realize adaptive measures in the exposed villages. This study analyzed the performances of GloFAS 1.0 and 2.0 at Garbey Kourou. The model verification was performed using continuous and categorical indices computed according to the historical flow series and the flow hazard thresholds. The unsatisfactory reliability of the original forecasts suggested the performing of an optimization to improve the model performances. Therefore, datasets were divided into two periods, 5 years for training and 5 years for validation, and an optimization was conducted applying a linear regression throughout the homogeneous periods of the wet season. The results show that the optimization improved the performances of GloFAS 1.0 and decreased the forecast deficit of GloFAS 2.0. Moreover, it highlighted the fundamental role played by the hazard thresholds in the model evaluation. The optimized GloFAS 2.0 demonstrated performance acceptable in order to be applied in an EWS.
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