The Climate Prediction Center's (CPC) products are operational
predictions of climate variability, real-time monitoring of climate and the required data
bases, and assessments of the origins of major climate anomalies. The products cover time
scales from a week to seasons, extending into the future as far as technically feasible,
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.
Origins of the Climate Prediction Center
The roots of modern climate prediction can be traced to the late 1700's. 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.
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 1980's the National Weather Service established the
Climate Prediction Center (CPC), 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.