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Cost733cat: a database of weather and circulation type classifications

Philipp, A., Bartholy, J., Beck, C., Erpicum, M., Esteban, P., Fettweis, X., Huth, R., James, P., Jourdain, S., Kreienkamp, F., Krennert, T., Lykoudis, S., Michalides, S. C., Pianko-Kluczynska, K., Post, P., Alvarez, D. R., Schiemann, R., Spekat, A. and Tymvios, F. S. (2010) Cost733cat: a database of weather and circulation type classifications. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, 35 (9-12). pp. 360-373. ISSN 1474-7065

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.pce.2009.12.010


A new database of weather and circulation type catalogs is presented comprising 17 automated classification methods and five subjective classifications. It was compiled within COST Action 733 "Harmonisation and Applications of Weather Type Classifications for European regions" in order to evaluate different methods for weather and circulation type classification. This paper gives a technical description of the included methods using a new conceptual categorization for classification methods reflecting the strategy for the definition of types. Methods using predefined types include manual and threshold based classifications while methods producing types derived from the input data include those based on eigenvector techniques, leader algorithms and optimization algorithms. In order to allow direct comparisons between the methods, the circulation input data and the methods' configuration were harmonized for producing a subset of standard catalogs of the automated methods. The harmonization includes the data source, the climatic parameters used, the classification period as well as the spatial domain and the number of types. Frequency based characteristics of the resulting catalogs are presented, including variation of class sizes, persistence, seasonal and inter-annual variability as well as trends of the annual frequency time series. The methodological concept of the classifications is partly reflected by these properties of the resulting catalogs. It is shown that the types of subjective classifications compared to automated methods show higher persistence, inter-annual variation and long-term trends. Among the automated classifications optimization methods show a tendency for longer persistence and higher seasonal variation. However, it is also concluded that the distance metric used and the data preprocessing play at least an equally important role for the properties of the resulting classification compared to the algorithm used for type definition and assignment.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:25514

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