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About Archived Daily North American Precipitation Data

Regional Deterministic Precipitation Analysis: Canadian Precipitation Analysis

The Regional Deterministic Precipitation Analysis (RDPA) configuration of the Canadian Precipitation Analysis (CaPA) is a real-time gridded precipitation product provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). The grid has a resolution of approximately 10 km and the domain covers all of North America (Canada, USA and Mexico). It uses gauge data, radar reflectivity and GOES imagery to modify a trial field provided by the GEM numerical weather prediction model using a statistical interpolation technique. The product has been operational only since April 2011, but a hindcast that goes back to 2002 is available from ECCC. The product is constantly being improved, with updates occurring once or twice per year. The method as well as all updates are documented here: http://collaboration.cmc.ec.gc.ca/cmc/cmoi/product_guide/submenus/capa_e.html

Operational products can be found here:
Static imagery: http://weather.gc.ca/analysis/
GRIB2 binary files: http://dd.weather.gc.ca/analysis/precip/
Web Map Service (WMS): http://geo.weather.gc.ca/geomet-beta?service=WMS&version=1.3.0&request=GetCapabilities

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimator

Hydro-meteorologists at the National Weather Service's (NWS's) 13 River Forecast Centers (RFCs) utilize the Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimator (MPE) to produce rainfall estimates that cover the 48 contiguous United States as well as portions of Canada and Mexico. MPE uses radar precipitation estimates from NWS radars, as well as some Dept of Defense radars. It also uses hourly rain gage data and satellite precipitation estimates. Other previously processed rainfall estimates can also be utilized, such as the National Severe Storms Labs (NSSL) Multi-Radar/Multi-Sensor (MRMS) data. These inputs are then manually analyzed at the RFCs to produce the day's best precipitation estimate on a 4 km grid on a 1 hour time step. Hourly estimates began to be produced in the mid-1990s, resulting in a 20+ year data set. 

The precipitation graphics can be viewed at the following web site: www.water.weather.gov/precip/.


Merged CaPA-MPE

The “Merged” dataset is created using both the Canadian Precipitation Analysis (CaPA) and the Multi-sensor Precipitation Estimate (MPE) datasets.  All point features from both input datasets are appended into a single point feature class.  An inverse distance weighted interpolation with a power setting of 0.5 and 10-point variable search radius is then used to create a new raster dataset with an 8-kilometer cellsize.

CAPA cell sizes
CaPA points with derived raster - 10km cell size.
MPE cell sizes
MPE points with derived raster - 4km cell size.
CaPA and MPE cell sizes
CaPA and MPE points with interpolated raster - 8km cell size.


Data File Download

Data files for CaPA, MPE, and the merged dataset for both the entire Canada and United States region (23°N, -175°W, 75°N, -50°W) as well as for a subset of the Great Lakes basin (51°N, -93°W, 40°N, -70°W) are available directly on our server for the past 30 days. For data before the last 30 days, please see our archived data retrieval page
The data files are simple CSV files with three columns (lat, lon, prcp_mm).  The naming structure is below:

The url for the Canada & US files is: http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/cliwatch/northAmerPcpn/northAmer/mrg_YYYYMMDD.csv
The url for the Great Lakes files is: http://mrcc.isws.illinois.edu/cliwatch/northAmerPcpn/greatLakes/mrgGL_YYYYMMDD.csv