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Sub-Seasonal Climate Forecast Rodeo

Up to $800,000 in Prizes!

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. In response, the Bureau of Reclamation is hosting this competition, which asks Solvers to submit forecasts of temperature and precipitation for one year, competing in real-time against other teams as well as official forecasts from NOAA. The intent is to spur innovation toward improved forecasts using a real-time competition and cash prizes as incentives.

Recognizing NOAA’s leadership and role in forecasting, Reclamation has partnered with NOAA on this competition. During the competition period, Solvers will be required to upload forecasts every two weeks. Four categories are defined by two forecast outlook periods (weeks 3&4 and 5&6) and two forecast variables (temperature and precipitation). Performance will be evaluated as spatial anomaly correlation for each forecast submitted. To be eligible for prizes, Solvers must outperform benchmark forecasts during the competition period. In addition to meeting this performance criteria, Solvers must demonstrate performance equivalent to or better than the benchmark techniques through submission of an 11-year hind cast, accompanied by documentation of their forecast technique.  In each category, prizes will be awarded to eligible Solvers based on those with highest average score over the course of the competition.

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.