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Examination of wind storms over Central Europe with respect to circulation weather types and NAO phases

Donat, M. G., Leckebusch, G. C., Pinto, J. G. and Ulbrich, U. (2010) Examination of wind storms over Central Europe with respect to circulation weather types and NAO phases. International Journal of Climatology, 30 (9). pp. 1289-1300. ISSN 0899-8418

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/joc.1982


The occurrence of wind storms in Central Europe is investigated with respect to large-scale atmospheric flow and local wind speeds in the investigation area. Two different methods of storm identification are applied for Central Europe as the target region: one based on characteristics of large-scale flow (circulation weather types, CWT) and the other on the occurrence of extreme wind speeds. The identified events are examined with respect to the NAO phases and CWTs under which they occur. Pressure patterns, wind speeds and cyclone tracks are investigated for storms assigned to different CWTs. Investigations are based on ERA40 reanalysis data. It is shown that about 80% of the storm days in Central Europe are connected with westerly flow and that Central European storm events primarily occur during a moderately positive NAO phase, while strongly positive NAO phases (6.4% of all days) account for more than 20% of the storms. A storm occurs over Central Europe during about 10% of the days with a strong positive NAO index. The most frequent pathway of cyclone systems associated with storms over Central Europe leads from the North Atlantic over the British Isles, North Sea and southern Scandinavia into the Baltic Sea. The mean intensity of the systems typically reaches its maximum near the British Isles. Differences between the characteristics for storms identified from the CWT identification procedure (gale days, based on MSLP fields) and those from extreme winds at Central European grid points are small, even though only 70% of the storm days agree. While most storms occur during westerly flow situations, specific characteristics of storms during the other CWTs are also considered. Copyright © 2009 Royal Meteorological Society

Item Type:Article
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:32773
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons

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