In order to improve the understanding of formation and development mechanisms and the forecast accuracy of heavy rain in China, in this paper, we introduce important achievements related to mechanisms and prediction of heavy rain since the foundation of New China 70 years ago. Firstly, the tropical monsoon and its variation, the influence of the Western Pacific subtropical high and blocking high on the heavy rain are introduced. Then, the main progress of heavy rain in Meiyu period, heavy rainfall in North China and pre-rainy season in South China, heavy rain produced by landfall typhoon and severe heavy rain in western China, the influences of Tibetan Plateau and other different terrains on heavy rain are summarized, respectively. Finally, the prospects and problems of developing more accurate quantitative prediction methods or systems for heavy rain are discussed. Based on the above achievements, some scientific questions in the research and operational forecasting of heavy rain in the future are proposed.