EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Recent advances in the application and utility of subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions

Christopher J. White1, Daniela I.V. Domeisen2,3, Andrew J. Charlton-Perez4, Eniola Olaniyan5, Carmen González Romero6, Ángel G. Muñoz6, Richard J. Graham7, Nachiketa Acharya8, Caio A.S. Coelho9, Michael J. DeFlorio10, Andrea Manrique-Suñén11, Robert M. Graham12, Carly R. Tozer13, David J. Brayshaw4, Francesca Di Giuseppe14, and Fredrik Wetterhall14
Christopher J. White et al.
  • 1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom (
  • 2University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 3ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 4Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom
  • 5Numerical Weather Prediction, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Abuja, Nigeria
  • 6International Research Institute for Climate and Society, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • 7Formerly of Met Office, Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 8Center for Earth System Modeling, Analysis, and Data, Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science, Pennsylvania State University, State College, USA
  • 9Center for Weather Forecast and Climate Studies, National Institute for Space Research, Cachoeira Paulista, Brazil
  • 10Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, San Diego, USA
  • 11Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), Barcelona, Spain
  • 12Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 13Oceans & Atmosphere, CSIRO, Hobart, Australia
  • 14Forecast Department, European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts, Reading, United Kingdom

Subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) forecasts are bridging the gap between weather forecasts and long-range predictions. Decisions in various sectors are made in this forecast timescale, therefore there is a strong demand for this new generation of predictions. While much of the focus in recent years has been on improving forecast skill, if S2S predictions are to be used effectively, it is important that along with scientific advances, we also learn how best to develop, communicate and apply these forecasts.

In this presentation, we present recent progress in the applications of S2S forecasts. We summarise case studies from a recently-published applications community review paper in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS), covering sectoral applications of S2S predictions from around the world, including public health, disaster preparedness, water management, telecommunications, energy and agriculture. Involving over 60 authors and drawing from the recent advances and experience of researchers and users working with S2S forecasts globally, we explore the value of applications-relevant S2S predictions through a series of sectoral cases where uptake is starting to occur.

From across 12 case studies, we show that:

  • The S2S forecasting timescale is a new concept for many users. While the additional value of S2S forecasts for decision-making is increasingly gaining interest among users, incorporating probabilistic ensemble S2S forecasts into existing operations is not trivial.
  • Barriers to widespread adoption of S2S forecasts include lack of access to the forecasts and the co-production to tailor forecasts to user needs, as well as varying ‘in house’ expertise in how to interpret and effectively apply them. This can create a ‘knowledge-value’ gap in some instances.
  • S2S forecasts do not produce a ‘go/no go’ answer of how a user should respond to a potential hazard; instead they provide additional, supplementary ‘situational awareness’ information that can be used to support decision-making on S2S timescales.

While S2S forecasting is still a maturing discipline globally, this publication marks a significant step forward in moving from potential to actual S2S forecasting applications – a collective body of evidence demonstrating both skill and utility across sectors that places user needs and applications at the forefront of S2S forecast development.

Our paper, ‘Advances in the application and utility of subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions’, is available from BAMS as an open access publication:

How to cite: White, C. J., Domeisen, D. I. V., Charlton-Perez, A. J., Olaniyan, E., González Romero, C., Muñoz, Á. G., Graham, R. J., Acharya, N., Coelho, C. A. S., DeFlorio, M. J., Manrique-Suñén, A., Graham, R. M., Tozer, C. R., Brayshaw, D. J., Di Giuseppe, F., and Wetterhall, F.: Recent advances in the application and utility of subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6186,, 2022.