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Outlooks & Forecasts

poster advertising the competiotionAnd they’re off: Solvers compete for up to $800,000 in prizes in the Subseasonal Forecast Rodeo!

The Bureau of Reclamation is sponsoring this year-long, real-time forecasting competition, focused on western U.S. temperature and precipitation, in partnership with NOAA, USGS, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Forecasts are issued every other week and evaluated as observed data become available. To be eligible for cash prizes, teams must outperform benchmark existing forecasts. Winners are anticipated to be announced in September of 2018.

Follow the teams, see the latest scores

When will drought affect me? How long could it last? Choose a forecast product below to get information, forecasts, and outlooks on what could be ahead.

Read an explanation of the causes and variables going into the prediction of drought, from the National Drought Mitigation Center.


Sample of US Seasonal Drought Outlook
The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) Seasonal Drought Outlook is issued monthly on the third Thursday of each month. The Outlook predicts whether drought will emerge, stay the same or get better in the next three months.
Sample of US Monthly Drought Outlook
The Monthly Drought Outlook is issued at the end of each calendar month and is valid for the upcoming month. The Outlook predicts whether drought will emerge, stay the same or get better over the next 30 days or so.
Sample of Seasonal Climate Forecasts
Worldwide predictions for temperature and precipitation from the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University.
sample map of US shows worst case scenario of drought termination, for July 2017
Users can generate maps to show probability of precipitation and the amount of precipitation to ameliorate or end a drought. (Sample image)
Sample of Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks
Temperature and precipitation forecasts for one to six months ahead.
Sample of GFS Soil Moisture Anomaly
Predictions for the upcoming week or two weeks.
Sample of Streamflow Forecast Maps
Available in spring and summer for the western U.S., forecasts of percent of monthly average flow compared to data from 1981-2010. Click here to find actual conditions.
Sample of State Water Supply Outlook Reports
Data from the USDA for streamflow forecasts, reservoir storage and other hydrologic information for the Western states.
Sample of 3-8 Day Fire Weather Outlook
Updates daily. For an interactive map with options to show layers depicting watches and warnings, weather outlooks, spot forecasts, click here
Sample of National Significant Wildland Fire Potential Outlook
Seasonal fire potential. Click for the current month or the next month.
NOAA’s El Niño Portal: Current status of El Niño and explanatory links. El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion and Weekly ENSO: Detailed explanation of El Ninõ’s current status and progression. ENSO and Drought Forecasting: A primer on El Niño and the Southern Oscillation (ENSO), from the National Drought Mitigation Center.
sample image of Outlook report
NOAA and its partners publish regional statements each quarter, summarizing weather highlights, anomalies and impacts for the past season and predictions for the upcoming season. You can find the most recent Outlooks here, or use the Document Search, filtering for "Outlooks" and the region of interest.
Grassland Productivity Forecast
Maps showing the percent change in Total Grassland Production by county compared to the 34-year average.