Accessing extremes of mid-latitudinal wave activity: methodology and application
Vitolo, R., Ruti, P. M., Dell'Aquila, A., Felici, M., Lucarini, V. and Speranza, A. (2009) Accessing extremes of mid-latitudinal wave activity: methodology and application. Tellus Series A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 61 (1). pp. 35-49. ISSN 0280-6495
Official URL: http://www.tellusa.net/index.php/tellusa/article/v...
A statistical methodology is proposed and tested for the analysis of extreme values of atmospheric wave activity at mid-latitudes. The adopted methods are the classical block-maximum and peak over threshold, respectively based on the generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution and the generalized Pareto distribution (GPD). Time-series of the ‘Wave Activity Index’ (WAI) and the ‘Baroclinic Activity Index’ (BAI) are computed from simulations of the General Circulation Model ECHAM4.6, which is run under perpetual January conditions. Both the GEV and the GPD analyses indicate that the extremes ofWAI and BAI areWeibull distributed, this corresponds to distributions with an upper bound. However, a remarkably large variability is found in the tails of such distributions; distinct simulations carried out under the same experimental setup provide sensibly different estimates of the 200-yr WAI return level. The consequences of this phenomenon in applications of the methodology to climate change studies are discussed. The atmospheric configurations characteristic of the maxima and minima of WAI and BAI are also examined.