The products created using applications in RFC-wide MPE replace the Stage2/Stage3 processing previously in use at RFCs and WFOs. The purpose of RFC-wide MPE is to create hourly gridded precipitation estimates which can be used to produce MAPX time series for input into the National Weather Service River Forecasting System (NWSRFS).
The image files represent this hourly combined data. The gif/jpg files are saved during use of the MPE product at the North Central River Forecast Center. In addition, .grb binary files are posted to the website. Note: The file generation platform was changed during April, 2002 from an HP-UX Unix system to an IBM system running Linux. As a result, the file naming scheme was changed to reflect this migration. The byte order for binary files is reversed between the HP and IBM systems, so this may need to be considered if you are using files created before and after the migration.
For additional information about GRIB files, return to the North Central River Forecast Center homepage and do a search for GRIB. You might also want to study information related to the byte swapping by reading information concerning grib/endian byte ordering.
Also, see the following sources for more information about the grb image files: