Tracking Precipitation Events

Collaborators: Prof. David Battisti, Uni. of Washington; Dr. Gregor Skok, Uni of Ljubljana.

I have used event-tracking code to track all events in the TRMM 3B42 3-hourly precipitation data, as well as 3-hourly ERA-interim precipitation from 1980-2015. This research has been submitted for publication to Geophysical Research Letters.

The event tracking software used in this work was developed and provided by Dr. Gregor Skok from the University of Ljubljana. Please contact him for a copy of the code.

For details of how the event tracking software works, please see Gregor's papers: Skok et al. 2010 and Skok et al 2009


The analysis scripts (python and shell scripts) used to analyse the output from the event tracking software and create the plots used in the GRL paper can be found on my github page. The shell script will run the event tracking code and a select group of post-processing and analysis scripts, given correct inputs.

The main output data produced by the project is available to download from the table below. I request that you email me (rhwhite (at symbol) if you do download the data, so I can keep track of how many downloads occur, and provide you with information on any updates. You should be aware that each file is a few GBs in size.

The raw output from the event-tracking software is available in two parts. The first is a text file, available here. This data file has one line for each event for each timestep that the event exists for. It is read in by
The second part of the raw data is a netcdf file showing the location of each identified event at each timestep. This file is created from the raw output files using the script which uses NCO (NetCDF Operators) to concatenate the individual output files from each timestep into one file. This file is available here.

Post-processed data is the output from the raw output from the event tracking algorithm is combined with the raw precipitation data to provide information about each event.
If you wish to reproduce these results you will need to acquire the raw precipitation data at 3hourly resolution from, for example, NASA Earth Data for the TRMM data, or from the ECMWF for the ERA-interim data. The ERA-interim data require some pre-processing to get from accumulated forecasts to 3-hourly accumulation amounts. These scripts can be found on the github page.

Data Downloads

TRMM 3B42 TRMM 3B42 on ERAI grid ERA-interim
Raw text file Download Download Download
Raw netcdf file Download Download Download
Post-processed output Download Download Download


The TRMM 3B42 data were provided by the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center’s Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Laboratory, and PPS, which develop and compute the TRMM 3B42 as a contribution to TRMM, and archived at the NASA GES DISC; dataset accessed on Oct 5 2015. ERA-interim data were downloaded from the ECMWF.