How much rain is expected?

This map shows the total amount of rain or snow (in mm) that is expected to fall in the next 6 days.

Consider how much rainfall is "normal" for this time of year, and whether this forecast indicates something unusually high or low.

Check this map to see if the expected rainfall is exceptionally heavy for your location.

See the "More Information" tab for forecast details.

What do the colours mean?

The blue areas indicate the cumulative, or total, amount of rain/snow forecast for the 6-day period. The heaviest rainfall amounts are expected in areas that are colored in increasingly darker shades of blue, then red and violet. The map indicates only the cumulative amount of rainfall expected over the next six days, but does not indicate whether this amount is normal for the place and time of year.

This forecast shows rain over large areas only, and should not be used to forecast cyclone tracks, local rainfall, or as a flood forecast. The map does not distinguish areas where rainfall is expected from areas where snow is expected. Forecasts for the amount of snow are indicated in terms of the equivalent amount of rainfall, so the actual depth of snow would be considerably more than indicated.

How to use this interactive map

Switch to another map: Select the dropdown menu at the top of the page, to the right of the blue “Forecasts in Context” heading.

Return to the menu page: Click the blue link called “Forecasts in Context” at the top left corner of the page.

Zoom in to a region:
Method 1: Pick a region from the list:

  1. Select the dropdown menu at the top of the page, titled “Region”
  2. Click on the region of interest, and the map will automatically refresh.

Method 2: Click-and-drag:

  1. Click the left mouse button at the upper-left corner of the region to which you would like to zoom.
  2. While holding down the button, drag the mouse to the lower-right corner of the region to which you would like to zoom.
  3. Release the left mouse button. The map will redraw automatically.

Zoom out to the global map:

  1. Move your mouse over the map, until you see three icons appear in the upper left corner.
  2. Click the icon of the magnifying glass.
  3. The map will redraw automatically. Note that the map cannot display areas outside of the latitudes initially shown on the interface (about 66.25S – 76.25N).

Change the date of the forecast: Forecasts are labeled by the day they were issued. You can find this label by moving your mouse over the map until you see a text box appear at the top with the date inside.

  1. To step forward or back by one day, click the corresponding buttons to the left or right of the text box, and the map will automatically refresh.
  2. To manually change the forecast issue date, type your date of interest into the text box. This must follow the format: “0000 16 Jan 2008”. Then, press “enter” or click the “refresh” icon in the top left corner of the map.
  3. To produce an animation of these maps over a series of dates, type the date range into the text box. This must follow the format: “start date” followed by “to” followed by “end date”. For example “0000 1 Jan 2008 to 0000 15 Jan 2008”.

Single-Day (24-Hour) Total Precipitation Forecast Maps

Dataset Documentation

ESRL GEFS Six-Day and Daily Precipitation Forecast Maps
Data Daily ensemble-mean forecast precipitation totals at 1.0° lat/lon resolution from the 2012 version of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction's (NCEP) Global Ensemble Forecasting System (GEFS) model run daily using 00 UTC initial conditions, available via the NOAA ESRL PSD Reforecast Version 2 Project
Data Source U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL), Physical Sciences Division (PSD), ESRL Reforecast Version 2 Project
Analyses: Analyses shown here include forecast daily (days 1-6) and six-day precipitation totals, forecast daily and six-day total precipitation anomalies from the 1985-2012 mean, forecast daily and six-day total precipitation as percent of mean monthly total precipitation (1985-2012 base period), and forecast daily and six-day total precipitation percentiles (1985-2012 base period).


Contact if you are a humanitarian-decision maker with questions about information in this Map Room, or other weather and climate related questions. We usually respond within one business day.

Contact with any technical questions or problems with this Map Room, for example, the forecasts not displaying or updating properly.