Weather and Climate Forecasts
Weather forecasts provide information about the expected state of the weather up to 10–14 days in advance using highly complex computer-based atmospheric simulation models that are similar to the global climate models used for climate projections, except that they run at higher resolution for much shorter periods. For a typical official forecast, the output from multiple weather models is considered by a human forecaster, and subjectively weighted depending on the past performance of each model for analogous weather patterns, and the forecaster's expert judgement.
NWS Nowcasts and Weather Forecasts (0-7 days ahead) - Open the homepage for any NWS Weather Forecast Office (list below - see map); input location into “Local Forecast” box in upper left
Denver/Boulder - Grand Junction - Pueblo - Salt Lake City - Riverton - Cheyenne - Rapid City
Seasonal Climate Forecasts
Climate forecasts and outlooks provide information about the expected state of regional climate beyond the time frame of long-range weather forecasts (~10–14 days). Rather than tracking specific airmasses and weather systems, seasonal forecasts and outlooks are based on expectations derived from long-term climate trends, shorter-term persistence in the climate system, and the current and anticipated state of tropical sea surface temperatures (i.e., ENSO). Depending on the forecast, they may incorporate sophisticated computer models, statistical models, and/or expert judgments. Seasonal climate forecasts are issued for upcoming months and seasons, but usually no more than one year from the forecast date due to forecast skill declining at long lead times.
Seasonal CPC Outlooks (1–3 months, 0.5–12 months ahead) - NOAA Climate Prediction Center- Official NOAA seasonal forecasts for US temperature and precipitation, presented as shifts in the likelihood that conditions will be above-average, near-average, or below-average.
Colorado/Interior Southwest Forecast Guidance ("SWcasts") (3 months) - Experimental NOAA ESRL PSD Climate Analysis Branch seasonal forecasts of precipitation for CO, UT, NM, AZ – compare with CPC seasonal outlooks (above) Note: The most recent SWcast may not be available on the page linked above, see the latest Colorado WATF presentations,"Long-term Weather Outlook".
El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) consensus forecast (3 months, 0.5–11 months ahead) - International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI) and NOAA CPC - A probabilistic ENSO forecast for overlapping three-month seasons, based on monthly model forecasts of Niño 3.4 sea surface temperatures