The UK Rainfall application allows users to explore, visualise and extract data from the CEH Gridded Estimates of Areal Rainfall (CEH-GEAR) dataset.

There are two applications, one for Great Britain (GB) and a separate one for Northern Ireland (NI).

Launch the GB viewer    Launch the NI viewer

These applications allow users to create interactive maps of gridded monthly and daily rainfall, showing the variation of rainfall across the country and through time. Graphs of the rainfall for selected points can be produced, allowing for comparison of rainfall at different locations. Data for these locations can then be downloaded.

The gridded rainfall estimates are derived from the interpolation of observed rainfall at all of the raingauges in the Met Office national database. The distance to the nearest raingauge for each grid cell can also be mapped, providing an indication of the confidence we can have in each data value.

It is hoped that additional tools such as areal and catchment aggregation and extraction will be added to the UK rainfall application in the near future.

The data

CEH-GEAR is a gridded 1km product derived from the interpolation of observed rainfall at all of the available daily and monthly raingauges in the UK. It has been optimised for hydrological usage such as modelling. The dataset contains gridded data from 1890 for some areas of the country, with consistent high quality coverage for all of the UK from 1961. The dataset currently runs to the end of 2012, but will be extended annually as new years of raingauge data become available. The data is used as the basis for both the UK droughts portal, and in the CHESS Climate and Hydrology Environment Support System.

Details of the dataset are available at doi:10.5285/5dc179dc-f692-49ba-9326-a6893a503f6e, as well as a paper describing the methods used for deriving the dataset.

We strongly recommend users to use CEH-GEAR rainfall data jointly with the distance to the closest gauge for studies pre-1961, given that for this period, raingauge data was very sparse in some regions. The estimated rainfall data should be used with caution wherever the distance to the closest gauge has high values.

Getting the data

The CEH-GEAR rainfall data is freely available from CEH’s Environmental Information Data Centre. In addition, web-services are available to enable the integration of rainfall maps within other applications, and programmatic access to the data to enable further analysis and integration with other datasets.

Terms and conditions of use apply to all of the datasets. While the data is freely usable for research purposes and for commercial internal business use, those wishing to build commercial services directly from CEH data are required to contact CEH data licensing.