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    Rainfall data explained


    We have two types of rainfall network.  Data from automatic gauges collected at a high resolution and data from a network of volunteers.

    We have approximately 1000 automatic gauges and 1400 manually read gauges across England. We can provide recent and historic data from these gauges.

    Data from automatic gauges is available at a range of resolutions from event data (time of tip), 15 minute totals, daily and annual rainfall totals.

    The automatic gauges are operated by Hydrometry & Telemetry teams. Data from manually observed gauges is typically daily or monthly accumulated rainfall totals and sent to us at regular intervals.

    Please note this is unvalidated data and could potentially contain errors due to faulty instruments or on-site maintenance.

    To access this data please refer to the Data Services Platform:


    For instructions on how to download the data as a CSV please refer to:


    For quality controlled and historic data please send your request to: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk 


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    • Avatar
      Dean Woodcock

      Do the 15 minute total rainfall measurements available through the Environment Agency Rainfall API refer to the 15-minute period preceding the time stamp? For example, is the measurement with the associated time 09:00 the total rainfall that accumulated between 08:45 and 09:00? I assume this to be true but I haven't actually seen it stated anywhere. If not, what is it?

    • Avatar
      Ella Fotheringham

      Hello Dean,

      Yes, you have made the correct assumption. It is an accumulated 15 minute reading up to that time stamp.

      Many thanks
      Ella Fotheringham
      Environment Agency

    • Avatar
      Owais Tariq

      Hi, how do you access total daily rainfall data as this is not specified in the api documentation.

    • Avatar
      Data Services Platform team

      Hello Owais,

      At the moment there is only 15 min data in the API. Therefore you would have to download the 15 min data and then sum the daily totals. Important to remember that a water day would be 9 am on one day to 8.45am on the next day.

      We are finalising an update to our hydrology service (https://environment.data.gov.uk/hydrology) which is due to go live in a few months which will contain daily rainfall data in an API.

      Kind regards,
      Andrew Chiverton
      Environment Agency