Real-Time Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE)

MetStormLive and Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE)

MetStormLive® is a high-resolution gridded precipitation product available for the contiguous United States (CONUS). This exclusive product is the result of years of joint development work with Weather Decision Technologies®, Inc. (WDT). MetStormLive is an integrated expert system that leverages quality-controlled precipitation gauge data, dual-polarimetric (dual-pol) radar-estimated precipitation data, satellite-estimated precipitation data and innovative algorithms for computing precipitation analytics, including Quantitative Precipitation Estimates (QPE). Near real-time QPE supports media inquiries, hydrologic modeling calibration and validation, asset monitoring, flood responses, forensic cases, insurance claims, emergency management, infrastructure (dams, water conveyance systems, combined sewer systems) operation, agriculture, and situational awareness. MetStormLive operates in the robust, redundant and scalable Amazon Web Services cloud environment.

Example of a real-time MetStormLive analysis of the previous 24 hours of precipitation.
Flowchart of inputs, processing procedures, and outputs for the MetStormLive real-time precipitation analysis system.

MetStormLive Input

MetStormLive is based on over a decade of research and development.  MetStormLive’s core data, algorithms and innovations are based on the newest, state-of-the-science technology. MetStormLive is based on the same fundamental algorithms and input data as MetStorm, our post-storm analysis tool. MetStormLive, just as MetStorm, uses up to seven (7) key inputs to produce the most accurate gridded precipitation across the analysis domain. Those inputs are briefly described on the MetStorm page.

MetStormLive is a Geographic Information System (GIS) based analysis system that produces gridded precipitation at 5-minute and/or 1-hour intervals over a specified domain (Laro, 2015; Parzybok, 2015) in the robust and reliable Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment. The relative spatial precipitation patterns are largely governed by Weather Decision Technologies’ Polarimetric Radar Identification System (POLARIS) quantitative precipitation estimates. The POLARIS QPE is a mosaic of dual-pol radar-estimated precipitation at a spatial resolution of 250 m2. Meanwhile, the precipitation magnitudes of MetStormLive grids are influenced by quality-controlled rain gauge data from our strategic partner, Synoptic Data Corp. MetStormLive integrates hourly measured precipitation data, thereby providing a high degree of gauge density for “ground truthing.” Satellite data, though at a coarser spatial resolution (4 km2), influences areas void of rain gauge and/or radar data. Innovative algorithms blend the precipitation estimates from the different sources into a seamless GIS grid, which provides the basis for summary statistics, maps, tables, and plots.

MetStormLive Output

MetStormLive produces high-resolution (250m2) 1-hour grids of precipitation that serve as the basis for a variety of formats and accumulation periods (e.g. 24-hour).  The native output of MetStormLive are ESRI ASCII grids in a generic projection; this is a convenient format for importing into GIS, MapServers and other applications.  MetStormLive content is also easily reformatted, accumulated or dis-aggregated (1-hour to 5-minutes) to meet customized client needs.

We offer the following standard QPE durations for the continental United States and parts of southern Canada:

  • 1-hour
  • 6-hour
  • 24-hour
  • 48-hour
  • 72-hour
  • Maximum 1 hour

MetStormLive quantitative precipitation estimates are available via several delivery methods, including:

Currently, MetStormLive QPE is available for the continental United States and southern Canada, but expansion into other areas of the world is currently underway. Local or regional QPE content is available by clipping the QPE from the larger north American extent. For more information and links, view this Press Release.

ABOVE: Example of real-time 1-hour MetStormLive QPE for the hour ending at 06:00 UTC on 27 Aug 2017 (rainfall associated with Hurricane Harvey). BELOW: That same 1-hour period as portrayed by the Stage IV radar-based precipitation estimation product. Note that the coarser resolution of the Stage IV product results in the appearance of artificially large areas of heavy precipitation.

Archived Quantitative Precipitation Estimates

We also offer archived MetStormLive QPE data to support a variety applications, including post-storm assessments, climatology studies, agriculture optimization and drought monitoring. Our archive of 1-hour high-resolution MetStormLive quantitative precipitation estimates extends back to 2015. We have other datasets to provide you 1-hour QPE prior to that, and daily QPE back to the early 1900s.

Pricing of MetStormLive QPE is competitive, adaptable, and optimized to meet your budget requirements.