An outline of the concept of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), along with some of its history is presented. This is followed by a brief presentation of the results and implications of an encouraging new application of the NAO to a regional climate problem—the interannual variation of Moroccan winter-semester precipitation. That precipitation is shown to be inversely related to the concurrent state of the NAO, and the relationship is relatively strong by the standards of recent research into the mechanisms of tropical and subtropical precipitation fluctuations. It is suggested that the NAO is of particular significance for the important issue of the long-range prediction of Moroccan (and probably also Spanish, Portuguese, and Algerian) winter precipitation, and that further research on this subject is warranted. Several specific recommendations in the latter regard are made.

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1 Also affiliated with the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.