The Pilot Research Moored Array in the tropical Atlantic (PIRATA) was developed as a multinational observation network to improve our knowledge and understanding of ocean-atmosphere variability in the tropical Atlantic. PIRATA was motivated by fundamental scientific issues and by societal needs for improved prediction of climate variability and its impact on the economies of West Africa, northeastern Brazil, the West Indies, and the United States. In this paper the implementation of this network is described, noteworthy accomplishments are highlighted, and the future of PIRATA in the framework of a sustainable tropical Atlantic observing system is discussed. We demonstrate that PIRATA has advanced beyond a “Pilot” program and, as such, we have redefined the PIRATA acronym to be “Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic.”

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*NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Contribution Number 3124.

LEGOS, IRD, Cotonou, Benin

NOAA/AOML, Miami, Florida

NOAA/PMEL, Seattle, Washington

IRD, Mercator-Océan, Toulouse, France

INPE/CPTEC, Sao Paulo, Brazil

IOUSP, Sao Paulo, Brazil

DPO/WHOI, Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Météo-France, CNRM/GAME, Toulouse, France

ESSIC, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland

INMET, Brasilia, Brazil

LOCEAN, IRD/FUNCEME, Fortaleza, Brazil

DHN, IOC/UNESCO, Niteroi, Brazil