Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction

Societal challenges, such as the occurrence of droughts and other climate extremes, require an improved predictive capability. The National Academy of Science’s 2010 report “Assessment of Intraseasonal to Interannual Climate Prediction and Predictability” recommended “best practices” as well as more research to improve upon the current intraseasonal to interannual climate prediction capability. Across time-scales, research is needed to objectively assess factors contributing to climate prediction skill, limiting predictive capability, and the potential for improvements within the limits of predictability. The report also recommended experimentation with multi-model ensembles as a way to improve upon current predictive capabilities, as research has shown that multi-model systems have prediction skill that is generally superior to that of any single-model system.

MAPP has the broad research objective to advance intraseasonal to interannual climate prediction (the decadal prediction effort is described here), including the prediction of extremes. This research is carried out as part of the MAPP Climate Prediction Task Force. MAPP Program investments in this research area include:

  • Research projects to develop an improved understanding of intraseasonal-interannual climate prediction and predictability, and the development of “best practices” and advanced methodologies for climate prediction, including outlooks for climate extremes such as hurricanes and tornadoes (projects FY12-FY15).
  • A research project to develop and evaluate an experimental multi-model climate and drought prediction system based on the so-called North American Multi-Model Ensemble (NMME) as a partnership between NOAA, NASA, NSF, DOE and the external community in the framework of NOAA’s NCEP/Climate Test Bed activities (NMME effort is FY11-FY13)
  • Research as part of MAPP-Climate Test Bed partnership (MAPP-CTB Execution Agreement) to test and evaluate research advances for improved NOAA operational prediction (projects FY10-FY12).
  • Climate prediction/predictability studies by the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies jointly funded by NOAA, NSF and NASA (funded during FY09-FY13).
  • Improving predictions at the weather-climate interface (2-4 week timescale). Projects focused on this timescale were funded starting in 2014 under the NOAA Climate Test Bed.



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


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 2011, the United States experienced a record high number (14) of climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 670 lives, caused more than 6,000 injuries, and cost $55 billion in damages. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.