The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is planned for mid-2017 to mid-2019, centred on 2018. Its goal is to enable a significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond, by coordinating a period of intensive observing, modelling, prediction, verification, user-engagement and education activities. With a focus on time scales from hours to a season, YOPP is a major initiative of the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) and a key component of the Polar Prediction Project (PPP). YOPP is being planned and coordinated by the PPP Steering Group together with representatives from partners and other initiatives, including the World Climate Research Programme’s Polar Climate Predictability Initiative (PCPI).
The objectives of YOPP are to:
1. Improve the existing polar observing system (enhanced coverage, higher-quality observations).
2. Gather additional observations through field programmes aimed at improving understanding of key polar processes.
3. Develop improved representation of key polar processes in (un)coupled models used for prediction.
4. Develop improved (coupled) data assimilation systems accounting for challenges in the polar regions such as sparseness of observational data.
5. Explore the predictability of the atmosphere-cryosphere-ocean system, with a focus on sea ice, on time scales from hours to a season.
6. Improve understanding of linkages between polar regions and lower latitudes, assess skill of models representing these linkages, and determine the impact of improved polar prediction on forecast skill in lower latitudes.
7. Improve verification of polar weather and environmental predictions to obtain better quantitative knowledge on model performance, and on the skill, especially for user- relevant parameters.
8. Identify various stakeholders and establish their decisionmaking needs with respect to weather, climate, ice, and related environmental services.
9. Assess the costs and benefits of using predictive information for a spectrum of users and services.
10. Provide training opportunities to generate a sound knowledge base (and its transfer across generations) on polar prediction related issues.
YOPP is implemented in three distinct phases. During the YOPP Preparation Phase (2013 through to mid-2017) this Implementation Plan was developed, which includes key outcomes of consultations with partners at the YOPP Summit in July 2015. Plans will be further developed and refined through focused international workshops. There will be engagement with stakeholders and arrangement of funding, coordination of observations and modelling activities, and preparatory research. During the YOPP Core Phase (mid-2017 to mid-2019), four elements will be staged: intensive observing periods for both hemispheres, a complementary intensive modelling and prediction period, a period of enhanced monitoring of forecast use in decisionmaking including verification, and a special educational effort. Finally, during the YOPP Consolidation Phase (mid-2019 to 2022) the legacy of data, science and publications will be organized.
The WWRP-PPP Steering Group provides endorsement throughout the YOPP phases for projects that contribute to YOPP. This process facilitates coordination and enhances visibility, communication, and networking.
EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut