YOPP - The Year of Polar Prediction


Enable a significant improvement in environmental prediction capabilities for the polar regions and beyond, by coordinating a period of intensive observing, modelling, verification, user-engagement and education activities.

The Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP) is one of the key elements of the Polar Prediction Project. YOPP is scheduled to take place from mid-2017 to mid-2019.

YOPP will

  • cover an extended period of coordinated intensive observational and modelling activities in order to improve polar prediction capabilities on a wide range of time scales in both polar regions;
  • strongly engage in forecast-stakeholder interaction, verification and a strong educational component;
  • foster relationships with partners, provide common focussed objectives, and be held over a bit more than a one-year period in association with a field campaign providing additional observations;
  • coincide with, support, and draw on other related planned activities for polar regions;
  • be implemented in three different stages: a preparation phase (2013-2017), YOPP itself (mid-2017 - mid-2019), and a consolidation phase (2019-2022).

YOPP Objectives

The main objectives for YOPP are to

  • improve the polar observing system to provide good coverage of high-quality observations in a cost effective manner;
  • gather additional observations through field programmes aimed at improving understanding of polar key processes;
  • develop improved representation of polar key processes in uncoupled and coupled models used for prediction, including those which are a particular hindrance to high-quality prediction for the polar regions, such as stable boundary layer representation, surface exchange, and steep orography;
  • develop improved data assimilation systems that account for challenges in the polar regions such as sparseness of observational data, steep orography, model error and the importance of coupled processes (e.g., atmosphere-sea ice interaction);
  • explore the predictability of sea ice on time scales from days to a season;
  • improve understanding of linkages between polar regions and lower latitudes and assess skill of models representing these;
  • improve verification of polar weather and environmental predictions to obtain quantitative knowledge on model performance, and on the skill of operational forecasting systems for user-relevant parameters; and efficiently monitor progress;
  • improve understanding of the benefits of using existing prediction information and services in the polar regions, differentiated across the spectrum of user types and benefit areas;
  • provide training opportunities to generate a sound knowledge base on polar prediction related issues.


The preparation phase of YOPP covers the period from 2013 to mid-2017 and is characterized by the following key activities: community engagement, coordination with other planned activities, preparatory experimentation, preparation of observational and modelling strategies, development of implementation plan, organisation of summer school and workshops, liaison with funders.

YOPP itself extends over the period from mid-2017 to mid-2019 and comprises periods of intensive observations, dedicated model experiments, research into the use and value of forecasts and intensive verification efforts.

A consolidation phase marks the end of the YOPP decade. Data denial experiments, model development, dedicated reanalyses, operational implementation and YOPP-specific publications are its main features.

For the implementation of YOPP special emphasis is placed on:

  • Development of strong linkages with other initiatives;
  • Strengthening of linkages between academia, research institutions and operational forecasting centres;
  • Establishment and exploitation of special research data sets that can be used by the wider research community and forecast product users;
  • Linkages with space agencies;
  • Establishment of a common data archive;
  • Promotion of YOPP with funding agencies;
  • Promotion of interactions and communication between research and stakeholders;
  • Fostering of education and outreach.

YOPP Summit

A major milestone for the preparation of YOPP was the YOPP Summit, held at Geneva, 13-15 July 2015.

YOPP Implementation Plan

The new YOPP Implementation Plan (version 2.0) outlines the planned activities during the Year of Polar Prediction. The revised version reflects the decisions that were made at the YOPP Summit including a specified description on how the social component of YOPP will be implemented.

YOPP Leaflet

A concise summary of the Year of Polar Prediction is given in the YOPP leaflet.