North Central River Forecast Center
Daily Precipitation Summaries
Mean Areal Precipitation
(Radar MAPX and Gage MAP) Products
Hourly Multisensor Precipitation (MPE) Products
Binary Image Notes | About MPE | About MAP & MAPX | Links

Precipitation detected by the WSR-88D radars is evaluated by the North Central River Forecast Center to produce river model input products. The image products are transmitted to the internet three times each day at approximately one hour after the time intervals for the group of images:
  • (12z --> 01z) images available 7 AM CST / 8 AM CDT
  • (18z --> 13z) images available 1 PM CST / 2 PM CDT
  • (00z --> 19z) images available 7 PM CST / 8 PM CDT
These products are based on hourly Multisensor Precipitation Estimator (MPE) gridded precipitation products received from the WSR-88D (NEXRAD) radars which cover the NCRFC region. The hourly gridded precipitation products are used to derive hourly mean areal precipitation values for all of the NCRFC sub-basins. The hourly values are then summed over 6, 12 and 24-hour periods to create the Radar Derived Mean Areal Precipitation (MAPX) products.
At about 8:30 AM Central Time every morning, 6-hour and 24-hour MAPX products are created. The graphics correspond to the previous hydrologic day which ended at 12Z (6 or 7 AM Central Time). MAPX images covering 6, 12 and 24-hour intervals are also created for the current hydrologic day at about 2 PM and 8 PM Central Time.

MAP products are created every morning at 8, 9 and 10 a.m. Central Time. These products are based on reports from NWS offices, COOP observers and other national and state agencies. The values represent precipitation measured for the 24-hour period ending at 12Z of the current day. These point observations are used to generate the areal- averaged 6-hour and 24-hour precipitation maps for the NCRFC region.

MAP text products are also generated. The text file is posted one day later than the precipitation image file to allow for quality control modifications to the precipitation values which are used in the river forecasting models.

Daily Summaries of precipitation amounts are posted using the text input product file "qcpcpn" into the National Weather Service River Forecast Model System. These daily summaries contain reports received from National Weather Service and airport sites and cooperative observers, as well as telemetered gage sites including DCP/LARC tipping bucket sites, agricultural stations, forestry sites, and other daily observations.
While the precipitation data is used operationally, it is not of research or publication quality. Corrections are often made to the data which are not reflected in the product sent to the internet. Those wishing to obtain official data should access the National Climatic Data Center Home Page. is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.
  • Web Site Owner:
  • National Weather Service
  • North Central River Forecast Center
  • 1733 Lake Drive West
  • Chanhassen, MN 55317-8581
  • 952-361-6650
  • Page Author: NCRFC Webmaster
  • Web Master's E-mail:
  • Page last modified: 16-Apr-2008 3:18 PM UTC