The effect of the Madden‐Julian Oscillation (MJO) on the Northern Hemisphere wintertime stratospheric polar vortex in the period preceding stratospheric sudden warmings is evaluated in operational subseasonal forecasting models. Reforecasts which simulate stronger MJO‐related convection in the Tropical West Pacific also simulate enhanced heat flux in the lowermost stratosphere and a more realistic vortex evolution. The time scale on which vortex predictability is enhanced lies between 2 and 4 weeks for nearly all cases. Those stratospheric sudden warmings that were preceded by a strong MJO event are more predictable at ∼20 day leads than stratospheric sudden warmings not preceded by a MJO event. Hence, knowledge of the MJO can contribute to enhanced predictability, at least in a probabilistic sense, of the Northern Hemisphere polar stratosphere.
The MJO phase with convection in the West Pacific precedes a weaker vortex in two subseasonal forecast models
Time scale of predictability for SSW events may approach 4 weeks if a strong MJO event is realistically simulated
Ensemble spread in stratospheric circulation is related to ensemble spread in tropical convection