ECMWF hosts Year of Polar Prediction meeting

Peter Bauer, Thomas Jung (AWI), Kirstin Werner (AWI)


ECMWF hosted a YOPP (Year of Polar Prediction) planning meeting from 5 to 9 September 2016 with international invitees from operational centres, research institutes and universities. The meeting covered numerous national and international efforts to provide additional observations in the Arctic and to perform numerical experiments towards a concerted YOPP observation and modelling plan.

YOPP logo

The Year of Polar Prediction is one of the highlight deliverables of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP), which is one of three projects within the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Research Programme (WWRP). The core phase of YOPP covers two years, from mid-2017 to mid-2019. By coordinating a period of intensive observing, modelling, verification, user engagement and education activities, YOPP will enable a significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond. YOPP will contribute to the knowledge base needed to manage the opportunities and risks that come with polar climate change.

As a member of the PPP steering committee, ECMWF has been strongly involved in defining the science and implementation plans of the project. With the successful APPLICATE (Advanced Prediction in Polar regions and beyond: Modelling, observing system design and LInkages associated with ArctiC ClimATE change, coordinated by Thomas Jung, Alfred Wegener Institute, Germany) research proposal to the European Commission, ECMWF will be able to support model development, impact diagnostics and observing system assessments with a particular focus on the Arctic.

The two-year YOPP time frame will include special observing periods focusing on enhancing conventional observation coverage throughout the Arctic for evaluating the impact of sustainable networks on predictability (e.g. increased frequency of radiosonde launches). YOPP field campaigns will focus on process studies that help to improve models. In particular the process coupling at the ocean–sea-ice–atmosphere interface will be tackled. Numerous field campaigns will contribute airborne, shipborne, surface and satellite datasets from a wide range of national agencies in the US, Canada, Europe, Russia and Asia, and from international institutions.

PPP, YOPP and APPLICATE aim to bring model improvements into operational systems. ECMWF’s involvement through the provision of dedicated global datasets, prototype reanalyses and planning support is therefore a good investment into the future.

YOPP meeting participants
YOPP meeting participants. The YOPP planning meeting brought together more than 50 people from operational centres, research institutes and universities.

Additional information is available on the Polar Prediction Project website at