annex 7.2.20
7.2.20 Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) Precipitation Data


GPCC products are gauge-based gridded precipitation data sets for the global land surface. They are available in spatial resolutions of 1.0° latitude by longitude. Depending on the product, finer spatial resolutions of 0.25°, 0.5° and 2.5° are available. The latest global precipitation climatology V.2020 is available in 2.5°, 1.0°, 0.5° and 0.25° resolution. It is based on data from ca. 84,800 stations and is used as background climatology for the other GPCC analyses. The database contains data from more than 123,000 different stations, being the largest precipitation database of the world.

Provider's contact information

The Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) provides global precipitation analyses for monitoring and research of the earth's climate. The centre is a German contribution to the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS).


Corresponding to international agreement, station data provided by Third Parties are protected in order to respect the copyright of the data providers. However, the gridded GPCC analysis products are freely available via Internet (

Variable name and units:

Depending on product, total precipitation (mm) or anomaly (mm)

Spatial coverage and resolution:

Spatial coverage: Global.

Spatial resolution: 2.5°, 1.0°, 0.5° and 0.25° resolution (V.2020)

Temporal coverage and resolution:

Daily, monthly and climatologies, depending on product.

Information about observations (number, homogeneity)

GPCC’s new global precipitation climatology V.2020 is based on data from ca. 84,800 stations and is used as background climatology for the other GPCC analyses. The database contains data from more than 123,000 different stations. The gridded gauge-analysis products provided by the GPCC are not bias corrected for systematic gauge measuring errors. However, the GPCC provides estimates for that error (climatological estimates up to Dec. 2006; since Jan. 2007 taking the weather conditions during the month into account) as well as the number of gauges used on the grid (accessible via the Visualizer). In addition to that, information about the proportion of the different precipitation phases (liquid, solid, mixed) is available since Jan. 2007


All data reaching the GPCC are checked, processed, reformatted and integrated in a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). Since 2009, all data being imported into the RDBMS are checked against background statistics enabling the GPCC to detect and correct data errors in this early stage. Within the data bank, the records from the different sources (SYNOP, CLIMAT, national data etc.) are stored in parallel (source specific slots) under addition of quality flags indicating the results of data processing. By this an intercomparison and crosscheck is possible, which is very helpful in the quality control (QC) and product generation process.

The data processing steps include QC and harmonization of the metadata (station identification), quality assessment of the precipitation data, selection and intercomparison of the data from the different sources for the particular products is described in Schneider et al. (2014), the interpolation of the station-related data to a regular mesh system, and calculation of the spatial means on the 2.5°, 1.0° and 0.5° latitude/longitude grid box area is described in Becker et al. (2013). GPCC uses the very robust empirical interpolation method SPHEREMAP. The method constitutes a spherical adaptation (Willmott et al., 1985) of Shepard’s empirical (angular distance) weighting scheme (Shepard, 1968). The Full Data Monthly, as well as the Precipitation Climatology are available on a 0.25° resolution, too. For additional information, please consult GPCC’s website ( (from Schneider et al., 2021)

Information about the technical and scientific quality

Summary overview of the datasets listed on :

First Guess Monthly of monthly precipitation anomalies based on SYNOP messages of approx. 7,000 stations arriving with DWD (Offenbach).

First Guess Daily analysis of global precipitation totals and anomalies based on SYNOP messages of meanwhile approx. 7,000 stations arriving with DWD (Offenbach). The data product becomes available 5 days after the observation month through the GPCC Download Gate.

Monitoring Product (Version 2020) for the period 1982 to present based on quality-controlled monthly data from 7,000-9,000 stations.

Full Data Monthly V.2020 for the period 1891 to 2019 based on quality-controlled data from all stations in GPCC's database available at the month of regard with a maximum number of more than 53,000 stations in 1986/1987. This product is optimized for best spatial coverage and use for water budget studies.

Full Data Daily V.2020 of daily global land-surface precipitation is based on data provided by national meteorological and hydrological services, global and regional data collections as well as WMO GTS-data. This product contains the daily totals on a regular grid with a spatial resolution of 1.0° x 1.0° latitude by longitude. The temporal coverage of the dataset ranges from January 1982 until December 2019. This GPCC product is recommended to be used when the daily precipitation information is of highest importance, e.g., for analyses of extreme events and related statistics at daily resolution and available as netCDF files through the GPCC Download Gate.

Gridded Precipitation Climatology (V.2020) based on monthly means focussing on the period 1951-2000 for approx. 85,000 stations. The gridded climatology fields (0.25°, 0.5°, 1.0° and 2.5°) form the background fields for the anomaly interpolation utilized on all DOI referenced GPCC products.

Further products for trend analysis and drought indices are also available.

Limitations and strengths for application in North Canada

The dataset is updated monthly and is available 5 days after the observation month. Only some products are available at a resolution of 0.5˚ or higher.

References to documents describing the methodology or/and the dataset

GPCC Home Page:

Schneider, U., P. Finger, E. Rustemeier, M. Ziese, A. Becker, 2021: Global Precipitation Analysis Products of the GPCC, Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC), Deutscher Wetterdienst, Offenbach a. M., Germany, GPCC/PDF/GPCC_intro_products_lastversion.pdf

Becker, A., P. Finger, A. Meyer-Christoffer, B. Rudolf, K. Schamm, U. Schneider, and M. Ziese, 2013: A description of the global land-surface precipitation data products of the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre with sample applications including centennial (trend) analysis from 1901–present, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 5, 71–99,

Schneider, U., A. Becker, P. Finger, A. Meyer-Christoffer, M. Ziese and B. Rudolf, 2014: GPCC’s new land surface precipitation climatology based on quality-controlled in situ data and its role in quantifying the global water cycle. Theor. Appl. Climatology 115, 15-40, DOI:10.1007/s00704-013-0860-x.

Schneider, U., P. Finger, A. Meyer-Christoffer, E. Rustemeier, M. Ziese and A. Becker, 2017: Evaluating the hydrological cycle over land using the newly-corrected precipitation climatology from the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC)”, Atmosphere, 8 (3), 52, DOI: 10.3390/atmos8030052.

Link to download the data and format of data:

GPCC Home Page:

Publications including dataset evaluation or comparison with other data in northern Canada

Rapaić, M., R. Brown, M. Markovic, and D. Chaumont, 2015: An Evaluation of Temperature and Precipitation Surface-Based and Reanalysis Datasets for the Canadian Arctic, 1950–2010, Atmosphere-Ocean, 53:3, 283-303,

Lindsay, R., M. Wensnahan, A. Schweiger, and J. Zhang, 2014: Evaluation of Seven Different Atmospheric Reanalysis Products in the Arctic, Journal of Climate, 27(7), 2588-2606. Retrieved Nov 1, 2021, from