New research unlocks the door for better predictability up to 7 months ahead

In many parts of North America, a fluctuating air-pressure pattern that enhances or blocks the storm-steering jet stream, called the Arctic Oscillation (AO), explains more variability in the weather than a primary influencer called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). However, the AO’s prediction skill has been known to be limited, until now.

A new study, funded by NOAA Research’s Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections Program (MAPP) reveals that a state-of-the-art seasonal prediction system, the North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME), can skillfully predict the AO up to seven months in advance. Led by Michelle L’Heureux (National Weather Service), the research team also found that the AO and ENSO are strongly related, suggesting that part of AO’s predictability depends on ENSO. Given these findings, the authors note that understanding the skill and predictability of the AO is critical to improving mid-to-high latitude climate outlooks.

To learn more, read the early online release in Geophysical Research Letters.




About MAPP
The Modeling, Analysis, Predictions, and Projections (MAPP) Program is a competitive research program in NOAA Research's Climate Program Office. MAPP's mission is to enhance the Nation's and NOAA's capability to understand, predict, and project variability and long-term changes in Earth's system and mitigate human and economic impacts. To achieve its mission, MAPP supports foundational research, transition of research to applications, and engagement across other parts of NOAA, among partner agencies, and with the external research community. MAPP plays a crucial role in enabling national preparedness for extreme events like drought and longer-term climate changes. For more information, please visit

View More MAPP News.





Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.


Climate Program Office
1315 East-West Hwy, Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910