Lat­est ver­sion: V2.2 (released March 2, 2018)

Mul­ti-Source Weight­ed-Ensem­ble Pre­cip­i­ta­tion (MSWEP) is a new ful­ly glob­al his­toric pre­cip­i­ta­tion dataset (1979–2017) with a 3-hourly tem­po­ral and 0.1° spa­tial res­o­lu­tion.

Why use MSWEP?

  1. MSWEP takes advan­tage of the com­ple­men­tary strengths of gauge-, satel­lite-, and reanaly­sis-based data to pro­vide reli­able pre­cip­i­ta­tion esti­mates over the entire globe.
  2. In a com­pre­hen­sive glob­al-scale eval­u­a­tion of 22 pre­cip­i­ta­tion datasets, MSWEP per­formed best over­all (Beck et al., 2017a).
  3. Tru­ly glob­al cov­er­age (includ­ing ocean areas) at 3-hourly 0.1° res­o­lu­tion (oth­er satel­lite-based datasets, such as TMPA 3B42, are lim­it­ed to lat­i­tudes <50/60°).
  4. Con­sis­tent pre­cip­i­ta­tion record from 1979 until the near present, enabling trend and drought assess­ments.
  5. Dai­ly (rather than month­ly) gauge cor­rec­tions.
  6. When apply­ing the dai­ly gauge cor­rec­tions, MSWEP accounts for dif­fer­ences in gauge report­ing times.


MSWEP has been glob­al­ly val­i­dat­ed using obser­va­tions from ~70,000 gauges and hydro­log­i­cal mod­el­ing for ~9000 catch­ments (Beck et al., 2017a). The dataset per­formed bet­ter over­all than oth­er wide­ly used pre­cip­i­ta­tion datasets such as CPC Uni­fied, CHIRPS, CMORPH-CRT, GPCP-1DD, GSMaP, PER­SIANN-CCS, PER­SIANN-CDR, WFDEI-CRU, and TMPA 3B42. See the fol­low­ing paper for more infor­ma­tion:

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


MSWEP opti­mal­ly merges a wide range of gauge, satel­lite, and reanaly­sis data to pro­vide reli­able pre­cip­i­ta­tion esti­mates over the entire globe. See the fol­low­ing paper for a detailed descrip­tion of the MSWEP V2 method­ol­o­gy:

The fol­low­ing paper describes the MSWEP V1 method­ol­o­gy:

The most impor­tant changes in V2 com­pared to V1 include: (i) the intro­duc­tion of cumu­la­tive dis­tri­b­u­tion func­tion and pre­cip­i­ta­tion fre­quen­cy cor­rec­tions, to account for spu­ri­ous driz­zle and atten­u­at­ed peaks evi­dent in V1; (ii) increas­ing spa­tial res­o­lu­tion from 0.25° to 0.1° to increase the local rel­e­vance of the pre­cip­i­ta­tion esti­mates (espe­cial­ly impor­tant for high water-yield moun­tain­ous regions); (iii) the inclu­sion of ocean areas to enable ocean­ic stud­ies and ter­res­tri­al hydrol­o­gy stud­ies for coastal areas and small islands; (iv) the addi­tion of pre­cip­i­ta­tion esti­mates derived from Grid­ded Satel­lite (Grid­Sat) ther­mal infrared imagery for the pre-TRMM era to sup­ple­ment the reanaly­sis and gauge data; (v) the use of a dai­ly (rather than month­ly) gauge cor­rec­tion scheme that accounts for region­al dif­fer­ences in report­ing times, to min­i­mize tim­ing mis­match­es when apply­ing the dai­ly gauge cor­rec­tions; (vi) the use of a large data­base of dai­ly gauge obser­va­tions com­piled from sev­er­al sources to replace the 0.5° CPC Uni­fied dataset; and (vii) exten­sion of the data record to 2017 (MSWEP V1 fin­ished in 2016).

Data access

Please send me an e-mail includ­ing a project sum­ma­ry to request access.


MSWEP is being devel­oped by Hylke Beck (Prince­ton Uni­ver­si­ty, Prince­ton, NJ, USA). 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. By using MSWEP in any pub­li­ca­tion you agree to cite Beck et al. (2017a).