Climate Prediction Center

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NOAA / NWS LogoThe Climate Prediction Center (CPC) is one of the National Centers for Environmental Prediction, which are a part of NOAA’s National Weather Service. It is located in College Park, Maryland. Its roots trace back to the late 18th century, with the United States Army Signal Corp taking over responsibility of the climate program in the late 19th century. Once it became part of the United States Weather Bureau, it was known as the Weather Bureau Climate and Crop Services. From 1957 through 1966, the United States Weather Bureau’s Office of Climatology, located in Washington, D.C. and then Suitland, Maryland, published the Mariners Weather Log publication. Late in the 20th century, it was known as the Climate Analysis Center for a time, before evolving into CPC in 1995. CPC issues climate forecasts valid weeks and months in advance.The roots of modern climate prediction can be traced to the late 18th century.

One of the nation’s first applied climatologists was Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. A century later, the federal government assigned to the Army Signal Corps the mission to define the climate of the regions of the country being opened for farming.

In 1890, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) created the Weather Bureau climate and crops services which began publishing the Weather and Crops Weekly Bulletin, which the CPC in conjunction with the USDA still publishes today.

The records of the Climate Division span from 1883 to 1961. For a time during the 1960s, the Weather Bureau’s Office of Climatology was located in Suitland, Maryland.

In 1970, various federal weather and climate functions were consolidated into the National Weather Service (NWS) and placed in a new agency called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). In the 1980s the National Weather Service established the Climate Prediction Center, known at the time as the Climate Analysis Center (CAC).

The CPC is best known for its United States climate forecasts based on El Niño and La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific.

The CPC’s products are operational predictions of climate variability, real-time monitoring of global climate, and attribution of the origins of major climate anomalies. The products cover time scales from a week to seasons, and cover the land, the ocean, and the atmosphere, extending into the stratosphere.

These climate services are available for users in government, the public and private industry, both in this country and abroad. Applications include the mitigation of weather-related natural disasters and uses for social and economic good in agriculture, energy, transportation, water resources, and health. Continual product improvements are supported through diagnostic research, increasing use of models, and interactions with user groups. Some specific products include:

  • 3-Month Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks Discussions
  • 1-Month Temperature and Precipitation Outlooks Discussions
  • 6 to 10-Day and 8 to 14-Day Products
  • Temperature and Precipitation Anomaly
  • Excessive Heat Outlook
  • Maximum Heat Index Prediction
  • 3-Month probability of exceedance
  • Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Heating and Cooling Degree Days
  • Hurricane Season Outlook
  • Atlantic basin
  • Pacific basin
  • U.S. Drought Outlook Discussion
  • International Support
  • Weekly Afghan Hazards
  • Weekly Africa Hazards
  • Weekly Central America Hazards
  • Weekly Haiti Hazards