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Characterisation of synoptic conditions and cyclones associated with top ranking potential wind loss events over Iberia

Karremann, M. K., Liberato, M. L. R., Ordóñez, P. and Pinto, J. G. (2016) Characterisation of synoptic conditions and cyclones associated with top ranking potential wind loss events over Iberia. Atmospheric Science Letters, 17 (6). pp. 354-361. ISSN 1530-261X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/asl.665

Abstract/Summary

Intense extra-tropical cyclones are often associated with strong winds, heavy precipitation and socio-economic impacts. Over southwestern Europe, such storms occur less often, but still cause high economic losses. We characterise the largescale atmospheric conditions and cyclone tracks during the top-100 potential losses over Iberia associated with wind events. Based on 65 years of reanalysis data,events are classified into four groups: (i) cyclone tracks crossing over Iberia on the event day (“Iberia”), (ii) cyclones crossing further north, typically southwest of the British Isles (“North”), (iii) cyclones crossing southwest to northeast near the northwest tip of Iberia (“West”), and (iv) so called “Hybrids”, characterised by a strong pressure gradient over Iberia due to the juxtaposition of low and high pressure centres. Generally, “Iberia” events are the most frequent (31% to 45% for top-100 vs.top-20), while “West” events are rare (10% to 12%). 70% of the events were primarily associated with a cyclone. Multi-decadal variability in the number of events is identified. While the peak in recent years is quite prominent, other comparably stormy periods occurred in the 1960s and 1980s. This study documents that damaging wind storms over Iberia are not rare events, and their frequency of occurrence undergoes strong multi-decadal variability.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:62700
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons

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