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The 2013 hot, dry summer in Western Europe

Dong, B. ORCID:, Sutton, R. ORCID: and Shaffrey, L. ORCID: (2014) The 2013 hot, dry summer in Western Europe. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 95 (9). S61-S66. ISSN 1520-0477

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1175/1520-0477-95.9.S1.1


The European summer of 2013 was marked by hot and dry conditions in Western Europe associated with a northward shifted Atlantic storm track and a positive phase of the SNAO. Model results suggest that, relative to a 1964–93 reference period, changes in SST/SIE explain 63% (±26%) of the area-averaged warming signal over Western Europe, with the remaining 37% (±29%) explained by the direct impact of changes in anthropogenic radiative forcings from GHG and aerosols. The results further suggest that the anomalous atmospheric circulation, and associated low rainfall, were also influenced both by changes in SST/SIE and by the direct impact of changes in radiative forcings; however, the magnitude of the forced signals in these variables is much less, relative to internal variability, than for surface air temperature. Further evidence suggests that changes in North Atlantic SST were likely an important factor in explaining the striking contrast between the European summers of 2013 and that of 2012. A major area for further work is to understand more completely the mechanisms that explain these influences.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:37054
Additional Information:Special Supplement: Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective
Publisher:American Meteorological Society


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