Advances in the application and utility of subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions

White, Christopher J. and Domeisen, Daniela I. V. and Acharya, Nachiketa and Adefisan, Elijah A. and Anderson, Michael L. and Aura, Stella and Balogun, Ahmed A. and Bertram, Douglas and Bluhm, Sonia and Brayshaw, David J. and Browell, Jethro and Büeler, Domink and Charlton-Perez, Andrew and Chourio, Xandre and Christel, Isadora and Coelho, Caio A. S. and DeFlorio, Michael J. and Delle Monache, Luca and Di Giuseppe, Francesca and García-Solórzano, Ana María and Gibson, Peter B. and Goddard, Lisa and González Romero, Carmen and Graham, Richard J. and Graham, Robert M. and Grams, Christian M. and Halford, Alan and Huang, W. T. Katty and Jensen, Kjeld and Kilavi, Mary and Lawal, Kamoru A. and Lee, Robert W. and MacLeod, David and Manrique-Suñén, Andrea and Martins, Eduardo S. P. R. and Maxwell, Carolyn J. and Merryfield, William J. and Muñoz, Ángel G. and Olaniyan, Eniola and Otieno, George and Oyedpo, John A. and Palma, Lluís and Pechlivanidis, Ilias G. and Pons, Diego and Ralph, F. Martin and Reis Jr., Dirceu S. and Remenyi, Tomas A. and Risbey, James S. and Robertson, Donald J. C. and Robertson, Andrew W. and Smith, Stefan and Soret, Albert and Sun, Ting and Todd, Martin C. and Tozer, Carly R. and Vasconcelos Jr., Franisco C. and Vigo, Ilaria and Waliser, Duane E. and Wetterhall, Fredrik and Wilson, Robert G. (2021) Advances in the application and utility of subseasonal-to-seasonal predictions. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. ISSN 1520-0477 (

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The subseasonal-to-seasonal (S2S) predictive timescale, encompassing lead times ranging from 2 weeks to a season, is at the frontier of forecasting science. Forecasts on this timescale provide opportunities for enhanced application-focused capabilities to complement existing weather and climate services and products. There is, however, a 'knowledge-value' gap, where a lack of evidence and awareness of the potential socio-economic benefits of S2S forecasts limits their wider uptake. To address this gap, here we present the first global community effort at summarizing relevant applications of S2S forecasts to guide further decision-making and support the continued development of S2S forecasts and related services. Focusing on 12 sectoral case studies spanning public health, agriculture, water resource management, renewable energy and utilities, and emergency management and response, we draw on recent advancements to explore their application and utility. These case studies mark a significant step forward in moving from potential to actual S2S forecasting applications. We show that by placing user needs at the forefront of S2S forecast development – demonstrating both skill and utility across sectors – this dialogue can be used to help promote and accelerate the awareness, value and co-generation of S2S forecasts. We also highlight that while S2S forecasts are increasingly gaining interest among users, incorporating probabilistic S2S forecasts into existing decision-making operations is not trivial. Nevertheless, S2S forecasting represents a significant opportunity to generate useful, usable and actionable forecast applications for and with users that will increasingly unlock the potential of this forecasting timescale.