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GIS Data Sets

The NOHRSC provides and maintains the NWS Integrated Hydrologic Automated Basin Boundary System (IHABBS) GIS database to support river and flood forecasting throughout the nation. Basin boundary data sets and RFC boundaries are provided here in shapefiles that have been tarred and gzipped.

Decompressing shapefiles instructions by operating system:
Unix/Linux -- "tar -xvzf {file}" on a command line.
Macintosh -- Stuffit Expander should be able to handle it, or you could open a terminal window and do the unix option.
Windows -- Downloading the file and using 7-Zip, Stuffit Expander, or WinZip should work.

Information for Internet Explorer users

Rudimentary metadata information for basin shapefiles can be found here.

Dataset Shape file KMZ file Last Modified
Basins of Arkansas-Red Basin RFC 2597 KB 1891 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of Alaska-Pacific RFC 33526 KB 22951 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of Colorado Basin RFC 2114 KB 1484 KB 2018-08-02
Basins of California-Nevada RFC 24097 KB 15868 KB 2023-05-25
Basins of Lower Mississippi RFC 3148 KB 2159 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of Mid-Atlantic RFC 1817 KB 1309 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of Missouri Basin RFC 4528 KB 3199 KB 2023-02-01
Basins of North-Central RFC 2938 KB 2380 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of North-East RFC 1492 KB 1366 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of North-West RFC 9219 KB 6568 KB 2024-02-21
Basins of Ohio Basin RFC 28641 KB 19660 KB 2021-12-02
Basins of South-East RFC 968 KB 801 KB 2018-07-25
Basins of West Gulf RFC 38235 KB 23530 KB 2023-08-01
Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes Basins 630 KB 575 KB 2008-10-07
New York City DEP Basins 87 KB 91 KB 2008-10-06
St John's Basins (New Brunswick) 21 KB 16 KB 2008-10-07
RFC Boundaries 3110 KB 3060 KB 2014-02-04
NOHRSC Flight Lines 1333 KB 933 KB 2024-03-12

The following data sets are also used on the Interactive Snow Information page:

Dataset Shape file KMZ file Last Modified
Canadian Province Boundaries 13309 KB 19270 KB 2012-04-26
Canadian National Boundaries 12730 KB 18301 KB 2012-04-26
Alaskan Boundaries 1942 KB 1637 KB 2008-10-07
US National Boundaries 694 KB 577 KB 2009-02-03
US State Boundaries 2241 KB 1998 KB 2008-10-07
Mexico State Boundaries 237 KB 428 KB 2008-10-07
NSA Discussion Regions 1815 KB 1419 KB 2010-02-17
NSA Discussion Subregions 450 KB 508 KB 2008-10-07
US County Boundaries 81127 KB 53282 KB 2024-03-20
US County Warning Areas 20605 KB 13820 KB 2022-04-07
Alaskan 6-digit HUCs 972 KB 908 KB 2008-10-06
US 6-digit HUCs 4569 KB 4089 KB 2008-10-06
US Highways 112459 KB 2009-03-23
Canadian Highways 941 KB 538 KB 2009-03-23
US Lakes and Reservoirs 2623 KB 2084 KB 2010-11-22
Rivers and Streams 36946 KB 2008-09-30
Major Rivers 9382 KB 7810 KB 2008-10-07
Highways 3418 KB 2008-11-06
US Cities 3748 KB 2017-04-11
Skiing Locations 28 KB 2007-04-16

The Rivers and Streams coverage (based on the EPA RF1 dataset) is also available by River Forecast Center regions:

Dataset Shape file KMZ file Last Modified
Rivers of Arkansas-Red Basin RFC 2042 KB 1871 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of Colorado Basin RFC 2782 KB 2600 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of California-Nevada RFC 2070 KB 1912 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of Lower Mississippi RFC 2762 KB 2477 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of Mid-Atlantic RFC 1135 KB 1038 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of Missouri Basin RFC 7167 KB 6477 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of North-Central RFC 3591 KB 3278 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of North-East RFC 1587 KB 1373 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of North-West RFC 5019 KB 4290 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of Ohio Basin RFC 2701 KB 2451 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of South-East RFC 3406 KB 3007 KB 2009-07-29
Rivers of West Gulf RFC 3020 KB 2640 KB 2009-07-29

Notes for Internet Explorer users

Some versions of Internet Explorer will attempt to rename the suffix of the saved shapefile to .tar.tar, instead of the original .tar.gz.

Make sure the saved shapefile keeps the .tar.gz suffix, renaming the file if necessary. Otherwise, the unzipping software might not be able to read it.

Same with the KMZ files. Make sure that the web browser keeps the .kmz suffix, renaming the file if necessary.


The identification of ski locations are purely intended as informational with no implied endorsement. For further information on these ski areas, you will need to contact them directly. The locations shown are those we are aware of at the present time. To request the addition of another ski area to the GIS dataset please contact us.

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National Weather Service
National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center
Office of Water Prediction
1735 Lake Drive W.
Chanhassen, MN 55317

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Page last modified: Oct 27, 2022 - cloud
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