National Weather Service California Nevada River Forecast Center Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service

Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF)

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QPF forecasts are issued several times daily by the Weather Prediction Center (WPC). QPF represents the total amount of liquid precipitation (in inches) expected during specific periods, typically 6 or 24 hours, at any point or basin in the forecast area. The river forecast models at the CNRFC use 6-hour QPF/QPE. QPE, or Quantitative Precipitation Estimate, represents the total amount of liquid equivalent precipitation (in inches) that has been observed during the specified period at a point or basin. WPC QPF guidance is reviewed by HAS meteorologists at the CNRFC and modified when appropriate.

The CNRFC uses 5 days of forecast precipitation and temperature in our 5-day river guidance products.  The same information is reflected in the Significant Flood Outlook product.

CNRFC Precipitation Forecasts - Interactive Map Interface [Back to top]

CNRFC precipitation forecast grids are available on an interactive map interface in 6-hourly or 24-hourly increments as well as 3- and 5-day totals. Also, KML files are available for download and use in Google™ Earth.

    Forecast Precipitation - Interactive Map Interface

CNRFC Text Hydrometeorological Discussion [Back to top]

A discussion of the latest hydrometeorological conditions across portions of southern Oregon, California, and Nevada issued by the HAS meteorologist on duty. This product is issued twice per weekday and once per day on weekends and holidays the winter operational season (approximately October 15 through April 15) around 8:30 AM PDT and 1:30 PM PDT. This can be issued more frequently during high impact hydrologic events. During summer operations (approximately April 15 through October 15), this product is issued once per day.

    CNRFC Hydrometeorological Discussion

CNRFC Text QPF Products [Back to top]

6-Hour Basin QPF and Freezing Levels for Days 1 through 3
[Key to Basin Name Abbreviations]
6-Hour Basin QPF and Freezing Levels for Days 4 through 6
[Key to Basin Name Abbreviations]
6-Hour Point QPF and Freezing Levels for Days 1 through 3
[Key to Point QPF Name Abbreviations]
6-Hour Point QPF and Freezing Levels for Days 4 through 6
[Key to Point QPF Name Abbreviations]
24-Hour Basin QPF and Freezing Levels for Days 1 through 6
[Key to Basin Name Abbreviations]
24-Hour Observed Basin Precipitation and Next 24-Hour QPF/Freezing Levels
6-Day Basin QPF
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6-Hour Basin QPF for Days 1 through 6 in CSV Format
[Key to Basin Name Abbreviations]

CNRFC Graphical QPF Products [Back to top]

The graphics below display 6-hour (days 1 to 3), 24-hour, and 144-hour QPF for the next 6 days for the CNRFC area of responsibility and for the Weather Service Forecast Office (WFO) Hydrologic Service Areas (HSA). In most cases, this QPF is converted to basin Mean Areal Precipitation (MAP) and serves as input to our hydrologic models.

QPF images are issued daily at 8:00 AM. During CNRFC winter operations (Oct 15 - Apr 15), images are updated again at 1:30 PM daily with additional issuances as needed during extended hours of operation.

 Precipitation Forecast Map Selection
 Location Time Period  

CNRFC Precipitation Verification Graphics [Back to top]

CNRFC Daily QPF Gridded Verification images are available for the entire CNRFC area of responsibility.  The daily 24-hour verification period runs from 12:00 UTC to 12:00 UTC (4 AM to 4 AM during PST or 5 AM to 5 AM during PDT).  All images are identified by the ending date of the 24-hour period.  The verification image is a grid created from subtracting QPE from QPF valid for the same time period. Areas that appear in green indicate where the QPF was too wet (QPF-QPE ≥ 0.25 inches), and areas in red highlight areas where the QPF was too dry (QPE-QPF ≥ 0.25 inches).  Areas that are gray indicate where the QPF-QPE differences were less than 0.25 inches or areas where no precipitation occurred.  The grid type “Comparison” (requires Abobe® Flash®) allows a visual overlay of QPF and QPE images.   A slider bar located just above the image allows a manual fade between the two images.  Adobe Flash is required to use the Comparison option.  An option is now available to view previously-issued QPF images, Verification images, and QPF-QPE comparisons from QPFs issued from 1 to 5 days prior to a specific date.  This option can be used to view prevously-issued QPF, Verification, and QPF-QPE comparisons.  Please Note:  Images for day 1 are available dating back to June 20, 2007. Images for days 2 through 5 are available since June 13, 2012. In addition, verification images are available as Google overlays for days 1-3 back to December 24, 2003, and for days 1-5 back to Sepetember 19, 2012, on our interactive map page.

Grid Type


National Precipitation Verification - The National Precipitation Verification Unit (NPVU) provided precipitation verification statistics for the conterminous United States through February 2012. Graphical continuous and categorical verification statistics were provided for each River Forecast Center area of responsibility, and included monthly and seasonal verification of 6-hourly QPF for day 1, and 24-hour verification for days 1, 2, and 3 at 4 km and 32 km grid resolution. The NPVU also provided an archive of observed precipitation for each RFC area in graphic image format (GIF). The verification services of the NPVU were suspended as of February 23, 2012. Contact information for obtaining archived data is available on the page.

National QPF Guidance Products [Back to top]

The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) provides basic hydrometeorological analysis and forecasts for National Weather Service Field Offices and the entire meteorological community at the national scale. WPC meteorologists serve as experts in quantitative precipitation forecasting and numerical model interpretation. Products provided by the WPC include surface analyses, outlooks for heavy rain and snow, as well as guidance weather forecasts through five days. Below are links to WPC's national QPF guidance.

WPC 6-Hour QPF (color fill)
WPC 6-Hour QPF (contours)
WPC QPF Accumulation Totals (color fill)
WPC QPF Accumulation Totals (contours)
 *Experimental Products

WPC QPF Discussions

Quantitative Precipitation Forecast Discussion (QPFPFD)
Excessive Rainfall Discussion (QPFERD)
Heavy Snow Discussion (QPFHSD)