Online Rain Research Resources

Water is on our minds right now as Colorado suffers through a drought.

It seems like a good time to share some of our favorite precipitation research tools. We typically use these tools to follow weather patterns and plan mushroom forays. A lack of rain has been a pretty common problem, since, like forever. 

Advanced Historical Precipitation Maps

One of the coolest spots to go is the National Weather Service, especially their precipitation map which they call the “Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service”. This map allows you to pick a timeframe (like the last two weeks) and see the precipitation levels embedded into a dynamic and customizable map.

When you use this rain map, make sure you use the precipitation opacity slider and pick the basemap you like best. It has satellite, topographic, street maps and more. It also allows you to pick different date ranges quite easily for your weather research. Looking at this map, Rico looks good and so do some front range spots.

The best rain is South and West of Telluride, near Rico it looks like!

Historical Radar Loops

Sometimes you may just want to see the weather move. Iowa State University has archived Nexrad historical radar loops. Just put in your dates, and the number & frequency of frames, and watch the rain roll in… or not. Sigh.

Quick Last 24 Hour Rain Map

Get a quick view of the last 24 hours of Colorado precipitation at this URL: (change the state to your state!)

Historical Precipitation Data for Specific Towns

Get rainfall details for up to a month at a time at – just search for your location (I was looking at Telluride, Colorado)

  • Click history
  • Choose Your Month


Western US Interactive Precipitation Map

This United States Departure of Agriculture National Resources Conservation Service National Water and Climate Center (USDA NRCS NWCC) has got to be good what that many agencies behind it.  Their Interactive Precipitation Map will show Month-to-Date Precipitation measured at each station.  We prefer the “percent of average” report which makes it easy to find spots with more rain than average in the lat month. Thanks to Chris May for sharing this one!

Please note that this map has many controls to really dial it in the way you want. Try changing the dates and base maps to get the map you need.


Hopefully you are all (rain) dancing as much as we are these days. In the meantime, enjoy these precipitation research websites. Do you have favorite weather research tools? If so, please share!

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