Toward Locally Relevant Global Hydrological Simulations


Mul­ti-Source Weight­ed-Ensem­ble Pre­cip­i­ta­tion (MSWEP) is a ful­ly glob­al his­tor­i­cal pre­cip­i­ta­tion dataset (1979–2019) with a 3‑hourly tem­po­ral and 0.1° spa­tial resolution.

Ben­e­fits of MSWEP

  • MSWEP takes advan­tage of the com­ple­men­tary strengths of gauge‑, satellite‑, and reanaly­sis-based data to pro­vide reli­able pre­cip­i­ta­tion esti­mates over the entire globe.
  • In two com­pre­hen­sive large-scale eval­u­a­tions, MSWEP per­formed best over­all (Beck et al., 2017; Beck et al., 2019).
  • Tru­ly glob­al cov­er­age (includ­ing ocean areas) at 3‑hourly 0.1° res­o­lu­tion (oth­er satel­lite-based datasets such as CMORPH and IMERG are lim­it­ed to lat­i­tudes <50/60°).
  • Con­sis­tent pre­cip­i­ta­tion record from 1979 until the near present, enabling trend and drought assessments.
  • Dai­ly (in addi­tion to month­ly) gauge cor­rec­tions using obser­va­tions from ~77,000 sta­tions across the globe.
  • When apply­ing the dai­ly gauge cor­rec­tions, MSWEP accounts for dif­fer­ences in gauge report­ing times.


MSWEP has been part of two com­pre­hen­sive eval­u­a­tion stud­ies. In the first, 22 grid­ded pre­cip­i­ta­tion datasets were val­i­dat­ed using obser­va­tions from ~70,000 gauges and hydro­log­i­cal mod­el­ing for ~9000 catch­ments globally:

For each catch­ment, the pre­cip­i­ta­tion dataset that pro­vid­ed the best stream­flow sim­u­la­tions. Adapt­ed from Beck et al. (2017).

In the sec­ond, 26 pre­cip­i­ta­tion datasets were eval­u­at­ed using Stage-IV gauge-radar data for the CONUS:

Kling-Gup­ta Effi­cien­cy (KGE) scores for 26 pre­cip­i­ta­tion datasets using the Stage-IV gauge-radar dataset as ref­er­ence. High­er KGE val­ues cor­re­spond to bet­ter per­for­mance. Uncor­rect­ed datasets are list­ed in blue, where­as gauge-cor­rect­ed datasets are list­ed in red. Adapt­ed from Beck et al. (2019).


See the fol­low­ing paper for a detailed descrip­tion of the MSWEP V2.2 methodology:

See the tech­ni­cal doc­u­men­ta­tion for code exam­ples on read­ing the data and the ver­sion history.

Data access

MSWEP is released under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license and thus may not be used for com­mer­cial pur­pos­es. For com­mer­cial use of MSWEP, please con­tact us. To apply for non-com­mer­cial access to MSWEP, please send us a request using the fol­low­ing form. Please note that each request is checked man­u­al­ly, so make sure that your answers are com­plete and correct. 

MSWEP request form


MSWEP is devel­oped by Hylke Beck (Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty). The pre­cip­i­ta­tion dataset devel­op­ers are grate­ful­ly acknowl­edged for pro­duc­ing and mak­ing avail­able their datasets. The work was sup­port­ed through IPA sup­port from the U.S. Army Corps of Engi­neers’ Inter­na­tion­al Cen­ter for Inte­grat­ed Water Resources Man­age­ment (ICI­WaRM), under the aus­pices of UNESCO.

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