Balance Hydrologics manages and maintains a number of web-accessible stream and rain gages in Northern California. Data from these automated stations are downloaded and posted approximately every hour. While the data are considered preliminary until formally reviewed, Balance does provide periodic site visits and calibration to keep the gages up-to-date.
When planning stream gaging and sampling runs, we find the following links useful for tracking winter storms. We draw as well on other websites specific to individual counties or regions.
Forecast Discussion for SF Bay Area and Central Coastal California - We find this National Weather Service forecast discussion especially useful and is one of the first sites we check when tracking approaching storms, or simply for a daily synopsis of weather conditions.
Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (QPF) - In addition to the forecast discussion (above), this National Weather Service page is the other forecast site most commonly used by Balance staff when monitoring approaching storms. We especially like the 1 to 3 day, 6-hour grids, with localized forecast while hovering the cursor over the area of interest.
7-Day Forecast - The National Weather Service also offers forecasts by city or zip code.
Regional Weather Radar Loop - This site graphically shows current precipitation across northern and central California, and most of Nevada. Other regions can also be selected. We use satellite imagery to view approaching storms still over the ocean. There are many websites that post satellite images and loop. These are some of our favorites. We find the infrared red and water vapor image loops most useful.
Rainfall Totals - The Department of Water Resources posts rainfall totals for the past 24 hours at mapped stations across California. Prior data can be acquired at the California Data Exchange Center (CDEC) Bulk Data Selector.
Real-Time Streamflow - US Geological Survey gaging data for the past 60 days at stations across California are found at this website. If you hover over a mapped station symbol, the station name will appear. To view data, tap on the station symbol.
Streamflow Forecasts - Snowpack, precipitation, and reservoir storage conditions for Western US, and runoff and water supply outlook reports
Real-Time Earthquake Hazards - US Geological Survey, California Nevada Region