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GPCP Version 2.2 Combined Precipitation Data Set

| DOI: 10.5065/D6R78C9S

This historical dataset is recommended for ancillary use only and not as a primary research dataset. It has likely been superseded by a newer, improved dataset.


NOTE: This dataset has been superseded by GPCP Version 2.3, which is available in RDA dataset ds728.6. Users are advised to transition to this updated dataset.

This dataset contains Version 2.2 of the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) combined satellite-gauge precipitation estimate and combined satellite-gauge error estimate. The data are monthly analyses defined on a global 2.5 degree by 2.5 degree longitude/latitude grid and cover the period January 1979 to (delayed) present. A monthly climatology (1979-2011) is also available.

Please note that the original binary data were written using the big endian representation of unformatted binary words. Users reading this data on little endian platforms, therefore, will need to byte swap the data.

The GPCP was established by the World Climate Research Program (WCRP) and subsequently attached to the Global Energy and Water Exchange program (GEWEX) to address the problem of quantifying the distribution of precipitation around the globe over many years. The general approach is to combine the precipitation information available from each of several sources into a final merged product, taking advantage of the strengths of each data type. The passive microwave estimates are based on Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder (SSMIS) data from the series of Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP, United States) satellites that fly in sun-synchronous low-earth orbits at 6am / 6pm. The infrared precipitation estimates are computed primarily from geostationary satellites (United States, Europe, Japan), and secondarily from NOAA series polar-orbiting satellites (United States). Additional low-Earth orbit estimates include Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) data from the NASA Aqua, and Television Infrared Observation Satellite Program (TIROS) Operational Vertical Sounder (TOVS) and Outgoing Longwave Radiation Precipitation Index (OPI) data from the NOAA series satellites. The precipitation gauge data are assembled and analyzed by the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) of the Deutscher Wetterdienst.

The Version 2.2 Data Set contains data from the following contributing centers:

  • GPCP Polar Satellite Precipitation Data Centre - Emission (SSM/I and SSMIS emission estimates)
  • GPCP Polar Satellite Precipitation Data Centre - Scattering (SSM/I and SSMIS scattering estimates)
  • GPCP Geostationary Satellite Precipitation Data Centre (GPI and OPI estimates)
  • NASA/GSFC Sounder Research Team (TOVS and AIRS estimates)
  • GPCP Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (precipitation gauge analyses)

Request to users from the data authors: The GPCP datasets are developed and maintained with international cooperation and are used by the worldwide scientific community. To better understand the evolving requirements across the GPCP user community and to increase the utility of the GPCP product suite, the dataset authors request that a citation be provided for each publication that uses the GPCP products. Please email the citation to or Your help and cooperation will provide valuable information for making future enhancements to the GPCP product suite.


The GPCP SG combined precipitation data were developed and computed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Laboratory - Atmospheres as a contribution to the GEWEX Global Precipitation Climatology Project.

Temporal Range:
1979-01-01 00:00 +0000 to 2015-11-01 00:00 +0000 (Entire dataset) Period details by dataset product
Precipitation Rate
Data Contributors:
Mesoscale Atmospheric Processes Branch, Laboratory for Atmospheres, Earth Sciences Division, Science and Exploration Directorate, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA
Huffman, G. J., R. F. Adler, D. T. Bolvin, and G. Gu, 2009: Improving the global precipitation record: GPCP Version 2.1 Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L17808 (DOI: 10.1029/2009GL040000).

Adler, R. F., G. J. Huffman, A. Chang, R. Ferraro, P. Xie, J. Janowiak, B. Rudolf, U. Schneider, S. Curtis, D. Bolvin, A. Gruber, J. Susskind, P. Arkin, and E. Nelkin, 2003: The Version-2 Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Monthly Precipitation Analysis (1979?Present) Journal of Hydrometeorology, 4, 1147-1167 (DOI: 10.1175/1525-7541(2003)004<1147:TVGPCP>2.0.CO;2).

Huffman, G. J., R. F. Adler, P. Arkin, A. Chang, R. Ferraro, A. Gruber, J. Janowiak, A. McNab, B. Rudolf, and U. Schneider, 1997: The Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Combined Precipitation Dataset Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 78, 5-20 (DOI: 10.1175/1520-0477(1997)078<0005:TGPCPG>2.0.CO;2).

Total Volume:
0 MB
Data Formats:
Related RDA Datasets:
GPCC Full Data Reanalysis Version 7.0: Monthly Land-Surface Precipitation from Rain Gauges built on GTS based and Historic Data
GPCC Full Data Daily Version 1.0: Daily Land-Surface Precipitation from Rain Gauges built on GTS based and Historic Data
NOAA Climate Data Record (CDR) of CPC Morphing Technique (CMORPH) High Resolution Global Precipitation Estimates, Version 1
Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Climate Data Record (CDR), Version 2.3 (Monthly)
Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) Climate Data Record (CDR), Version 1.3 (Daily)
More Details:
View a more detailed summary of the data, including specific date ranges and locations by parameter
Metadata Record:
Data License:
Citation counts are compiled through information provided by publicly-accessible APIs according to the guidelines developed through the project. If journals do not provide citation information to these publicly-accessible services, then this citation information will not be included in RDA citation counts. Additionally citations that include dataset DOIs are the only types included in these counts, so legacy citations without DOIs, references found in publication acknowledgements, or references to a related publication that describes a dataset will not be included in these counts.