A primitive equation dry atmospheric model is used to investigate the response of the Arctic Oscillation (AO) to diabatic forcing. Integrations are made for 51 winter seasons (DJF) from 1948/49 to 1998/99. For each winter the model uses a time-averaged forcing that is calculated empirically from the NCEP/NCAR reanalyses. The ensemble mean of the simulations reproduces much of the observed AO interannual variability. Two additional sets of experiments are conducted. In one case the interannually varying forcing is prescribed only in the tropics, while in another it is prescribed only in the extratropics. These simulations indicate that a significant part of the interannual variability of the wintertime AO, as well as its trend, is linked to forcing from the tropics, and that extratropical forcing has no role to play, independent of the tropical forcing, in reconstructing the observed AO variability.