On the relation between explosive cyclones affecting Europe and the North Atlantic oscillation
Gómara, I., Rodríguez-Fonseca, B., Zurita-Gotor, P. and Pinto, J. G. (2014) On the relation between explosive cyclones affecting Europe and the North Atlantic oscillation. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (6). pp. 2182-2190. ISSN 0094-8276
To link to this article DOI: 10.1002/2014GL059647
Intense winter cyclones often lead to hazardous weather over Europe. Previous studies have pointed to a link between the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and strong European windstorms. However, the robustness of this relation for cyclones of varying intensities remains largely unexplored. In this paper, the bi-directional relation between the NAO and cyclones impacting Europe is analyzed for the period 1950–2010 focusing on the sensitivity to storm intensity. Evidence is given that explosive (EC) and non-explosive cyclones (NoEC) predominantly develop under different large-scale circulation conditions over the North Atlantic. Whereas NoEC evolve more frequently under negative and neutral NAO phases, the number of EC is larger under a positive NAO phase, typically characterized by an intensified jet toward Western Europe. Important differences are also found on the dynamics of NAO evolution after peak intensity for both cyclone populations.