Today we are excited to announce the launch of SummitCAST, our cutting-edge suite of localized forecasts for Colorado’s top hiking destinations. Read on for all the details and begin planning your next alpine excursion using the BEST mountain forecasts currently available!

To celebrate the launch of SummitCAST, through July 31st use the promo code SUMMIT to receive a 33% discount on an annual subscription to BoulderCAST Premium. The final price is just $26.80 per year!

Last autumn we introduced PowderCAST, an ambitious effort to provide real-time snow and weather forecasts for 17 of Colorado’s ski resorts. The response we received was overwhelmingly positive. Since then, our team of meteorologists have worked hard to develop a forecast product for those that enjoy high altitude adventures during the warmer months. If you hike frequently, sooner or later you will get caught in lightning storm above treeline, blindsided by a blizzard, or walloped by terrain-forced 90 mph winds.

As avid hikers ourselves, we know that a better forecast makes for safer and more enjoyable hiking. SummitCAST is the fusion of our expertise in mountain meteorology and our passion for the outdoors. We truly hope you enjoy it!

What exactly is SummitCAST?

SummitCAST was obsessively-engineered from the ground-up by our meteorologists with the goal of providing the most accurate forecasts possible for Colorado’s mountainous terrain. Each forecast begins with the blended output from several global weather models. Through the use of proprietary algorithms, statistical corrections, and advanced interpolation techniques, we have developed and fine-tuned cutting-edge forecasts for your favorite hiking or climbing locations.

At present, SummitCAST includes pinpoint forecasts for all 53 of Colorado’s 14ers, plus 5 unofficial ones. For each peak, forecasts are provided at the trailhead, mid-mountain, and summit every three hours for the next six days. Predicted parameters include cloud cover, temperature, wind speed and direction, precipitation chance and type, rain or snow accumulation, fog potential, and lightning threat-level. Here is an example 6-day forecast created on Tuesday this week for the most famous 14er of them all, Pikes Peak:

3-Day 4-6 Day

3-Day 4-6 Day

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To shed light on the accuracy of this forecast, here is a short comparison of the above Pikes Peak summit forecast (generated Monday evening) and how it verified through the day Tuesday and Wednesday for temperature and wind speed using actual data from the weather station at the top.

SummitCAST forecast verification at the summit of Pikes Peak for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

Not shown in the verification table above is lightning threat and precipitation amount. Doppler radar estimates suggest 0.5 to 1.0″ of rain fell across the mountain yesterday and last night, spot on with our forecast of 0.70″. Even a little snow mixing in was reported. The lightning danger was also very high on Wednesday (a high threat was forecasted).

In addition to the detailed individual graphics for each mountain, SummitCAST provides several ways to sift through all hiking options to find those where Mother Nature is most likely to cooperate. For example, if you want to hike a 14er this coming Saturday, our summary table below shows that Longs Peak, the closest 14er, may actually be your best bet! Expect just a 10% chance of storms, a low threat of lightning, favorable winds, and temperatures in the 40’s at the summit.

There are also various maps available illustrating similar information (and many more maps will be arriving soon). For example, the next six days of lightning probability for all 14ers:

Day:

SummitCAST already includes more than 8,000 individual forecasts which are updated daily.

This number will more than double in the coming weeks as we add-in prominent 13ers and other popular, though albeit tamer, hiking destinations like South Boulder Peak, Bear Lake, and Star Dune. If you have a specific location that you would like us to consider including, do let us know.

You can access SummitCAST anytime from the “Weather” drop-down menu at the top of any page on the site.

Our mountain weather forecast graphics and maps for the next TWO days are always free to everyone, while forecasts for days THREE to SIX require a BoulderCAST Premium subscription.

To celebrate the launch of SummitCAST, as a limited-time offer use the promo code SUMMIT to receive a 33% discount on an annual subscription to BoulderCAST Premium. The final price is just $26.80 per year!

*Act quickly as the discount code expires on July 31, 2017.*

In addition to full access to SummitCAST, Premium unlocks the complete BoulderCAST experience, including daily forecast discussions, extended and enhanced graphical forecasts, chat room and forum access, early viewing of select content, no advertisements, and much more! Also, keep in mind this deal is for our annual membership, which includes complete access to our extended PowderCAST ski forecasts and storm discussions for ALL of next winter. There’s no better time to sign up!

Go ahead….start planning your next hike with SummitCAST now! 

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Ben Castellani

Ben grew up in western Pennsylvania and holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree in meteorology. He currently works on a programming language tailored for scientists at Harris Geospatial Solutions in Boulder.

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