Concerns about amplification of anthropogenic climate change has led to a growing interest in the polar regions in recent years. Furthermore, increasing economic and transportation activities in polar regions are leading to more demand for sustained and improved availability of integrated observational and predictive weather, climate and water information to support decisionmaking. However, many gaps in weather, sub-seasonal and seasonal forecasting in polar regions hamper reliable decision-making.
The World Weather Research Programme's Polar Prediction Project aims to advance the science in numerical models, data acquisition and assimilation, ensemble forecast methods, verification, and the production of prediction products – all with a polar emphasis. Observations are a key element in this endeavor. The polar regions are among the most sparsely observed parts of the globe by conventional observing systems such as surface meteorological stations, radiosonde stations and aircraft reports. Recognizing this, one important international initiative is the Year of Polar Prediction scheduled to take place from mid-2017 to mid-2019.