Emerging European winter precipitation pattern linked to atmospheric circulation changes over the North Atlantic region in recent decades

Thumbnail Image
Ummenhofer, Caroline C.
Seo, Hyodae
Kwon, Young-Oh
Parfitt, Rhys
Brands, Swen
Joyce, Terrence M.
Alternative Title
Date Created
Related Materials
Replaced By
European precipitation
Climate variability and change
British Isles
Dominant European winter precipitation patterns over the past century, along with their associated extratropical North Atlantic circulation changes, are evaluated using cluster analysis. Contrary to the four regimes traditionally identified based on daily wintertime atmospheric circulation patterns, five distinct seasonal precipitation regimes are detected here. Recurrent precipitation patterns in each regime are linked to changes in atmospheric blocking, storm track, and sea surface temperatures across the North Atlantic region. Multidecadal variability in the frequency of the precipitation patterns reveals more (fewer) winters with wet conditions in northern (southern) Europe in recent decades and an emerging distinct pattern of enhanced wintertime precipitation over the northern British Isles. This pattern has become unusually common since the 1980s and is associated with changes in moisture transport and more frequent atmospheric river events. The observed precipitation changes post-1950 coincide with changes in storm track activity over the central/eastern North Atlantic toward the northern British Isles.
Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2017. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 44 (2017): 8557–8566, doi:10.1002/2017GL074188.
Embargo Date
Geophysical Research Letters 44 (2017): 8557–8566
Cruise ID
Cruise DOI
Vessel Name