Abstract : An avenue for modelling part of the long-term variability of the wind energy resource from knowledge of the large-scale state of the atmosphere is investigated. The timescales considered are monthly to seasonal, and the focus is on France and its vicinity. On such timescales, one may obtain information on likely surface winds from the large-scale state of the atmosphere, determining for instance the most likely paths for storms impinging on Europe. In a first part, we reconstruct surface wind distributions on monthly and seasonal timescales from the knowledge of the large-scale state of the atmosphere , which is summarized using a principal components analysis. We then apply a multi-polynomial regression to model surface wind speed distributions in the parametric context of the Weibull distribution. Several methods are tested for the reconstruction of the parameters of the Weibull distribution , and some of them show good performance. This proves that there is a significant potential for information in the relation between the synoptic circulation and the surface wind speed. In the second part of the paper, the knowledge obtained on the relationship between the large-scale situation of the atmosphere and surface wind speeds is used in an attempt to forecast wind speeds distributions on a monthly horizon. The forecast results are promising but they also indicate that the Numerical Weather Prediction seasonal forecasts on which they are based, are not yet mature enough to provide reliable information for timescales exceeding one month.