ArcGIS Living Atlas

Precipitation Layers in ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World

Precipitation is the main driver of the water cycle: it waters our crops, it replenishes water in reservoirs, and heavy storms produce floods that affect our communities. ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World includes precipitation layers that can be used for environmental analysis, from short-term precipitation forecast to spatially-distributed raster datasets that are updated in near-real time through our Live Feeds. Living Atlas includes precipitation datasets that can be used for diverse applications.

Precipitation Animation

Living Atlas now includes two new precipitation datasets: The Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement (IMERG) and WorldClim.


The Integrated Multi-Satellite Retrievals for GPM (IMERG) dataset provides global precipitation estimated from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) and the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellites. The IMERG image layer in Living Atlas is a mosaic of monthly precipitation rasters at 0.1 degrees spatial resolution from June 2000 to the present, with a data latency of 2.5 months. The IMERG image layer is updated automatically when new data are available every month through a Live Feed routine.


The IMERG layer displays a time-series of monthly precipitation rasters. The time-series values can be queried as any other item in ArcGIS Online, for example by using the ArcGIS API for Python or the ArcGIS REST API.


WorldClim 2.1 is a dataset of climate variables downscaled to different spatial resolutions. The WorldClim image layer in Living Atlas provides mean monthly precipitation and total annual precipitation for the period between 1970 to 2000 at 2.5 arc minutes (~5 km) spatial resolution.


The WorldClim Precipitation layer shows the expected inter-annual precipitation at any given place.

Precipitation items in Living Atlas

In addition to IMERG and WorldClim, Living Atlas includes precipitation layers that are useful for different water resources applications. To highlight a few:


Precipitation is a key variable for the study of the environment. Living Atlas includes precipitation datasets for analysis and mapping, from long-term average conditions such as in WorldClim to a time-series of monthly precipitation estimates from IMERG.

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About the authors

Gonzalo Espinoza is a Principal GIS Engineer at ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World. Gonzalo specializes in hydrologic modeling, real time climate and hydro-informatic tools such as flood mapping and forecasting using National Water Model data. He masters the full geospatial tech stack required to develop scalable and operational services relying on large volumes of EO data in the fields of water and environment. At Living Atlas, he also supports the development of workflows for automation of data updates known as Live Feeds, technology used at Esri’s Disaster Response Program. Before ESRI Gonzalo worked in the development of Water Accounting at UNESCO IHE. He holds a PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Dan leads development of ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World environmental content, which includes information about Earth's land, ocean, atmosphere, and ecosystems. Prior to Esri, Dan worked at NOAA for two decades, leading data visualization efforts for research, communications, and education.

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