Case Study: Real-Time Rain Monitoring during Heavy Rain Event in France

A sample of our PluvoLive monitoring system for this event. The full video can be seen at the end of this article.


Some regions were greatly affected by the heavy rain event. Source
Image 1: Red alerts were issued for flooding and heavy rain in the southwest departments of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrenees, Haute-Garonne and Ariège on 09 January 2022. Source: Météo-France
Image 2: In a 36 hours period to 14:00 on 10 January, Augirein (Ariège) saw 155.4 mm of rain, Laruns (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) 146 mm, Aulus-les-Bains (Ariège) 138 mm and Arbeost (Hautes-Pyrénées) 129.1 mm. Source: Météo-France

Data Sources

  1. Rain gauges
    Rain gauges are commonly regarded as the ground-truth for rain measurements. In order to measure a system’s accuracy its rain estimations are therefore compared at locations where rain gauges are in place. The data for rain gauges operated by Météo-France are publicly available here.
  2. Radar data
    Weather radars from the OPERA network provide precipitation data (rain rate in mm/h) with a temporal resolution of 15 minutes and a spatial resolution of 2km x 2km. Available online with a license.
  3. PluvoLive data
    The PluvoLive rain monitoring system uses data from broadband satellite terminals to measure precipitation in real-time. Spatially distributed all over Metropolitan France, it consists of more than 5000 ground terminals that enable the generation of high-dimensional rain maps with a spatial resolution of 1km x 1km and a temporal resolution of 5 minutes.

Investigation and results

  1. Maximum Precipitation per catchment area
667 catchments covered by at least one terminal.
Maximum rain precipitation levels measured by radar and PluvoLive. The results are accumulated daily, starting from January 7. The rectangle highlights the most affected region similar to Image 2.
Accumulated rain results (in mm) comparing rain gauge, radar and PluvoLive in the meteorological stations of St Girons and Tarbes-Ossun.
Rain precipitation (mm) and absolute error of radar and PluvoLive measurements according to Météo-France’s aftermath report in mountainous regions that observed the maximum rainfall.


PluvoLive monitoring system in southern France for the 4-day event.




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