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Sub-Seasonal Climate Forecast Rodeo

And they’re off: Solvers compete for up to $800,000 in prizes

The Rodeo is a year-long, real-time forecasting competition, focused on western U.S. temperature and precipitation for weeks 3&4 and weeks 5&6. The Bureau of Reclamation is sponsoring the competition 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. 

Improved sub-seasonal forecasts for weather and climate conditions (lead-times ranging from 15 to 45 days and beyond) would allow water managers to better prepare for shifts in hydrologic regimes such as the onset of drought or occurrence of wet weather extremes. The challenge with sub-seasonal weather and climate forecasting is that it encompasses the time frame where initial state or condition information and slowly varying long-term states, such as sea surface temperature, soil moisture, and snowpack, become more important to predictions. In addition, the relative importance of the initial state or condition, versus the longer term state, depends on the lead time, region of interest, and time of year.

Winners are anticipated to be announced in September of 2018. Check back for new scores and other updates over the next year!

Category First Place Second Place Third Place
Weeks 3&4 Temperature $100,000 $50,000 $25,000
Weeks 3&4 Precipitation $100,000 $50,000 $25,000
Weeks 5&6 Temperature $100,000 $50,000 $25,000
Weeks 5&6 Precipitation $100,000 $50,000 $25,000


*In additional, one prize of $25,000 may be awarded per category based solely on performance in the hind cast portion of the competition.

Current leaders in each category are shown by the bar chart at right. For more information, check out the full leader board