Royal Meteorological Society (royal + meteorological_society)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The Gulf Stream and Atlantic sea-surface temperatures in AD1790,1825

G. van der Schrier
Abstract We present gridded sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) for the Atlantic basin (45S,60N) as averages over the period AD1790,1825, based on early-instrumental SST data. The original measurements were compiled by Major James Rennell and made by numerous British naval vessels on behalf of the British Admiralty. We describe the digitization of this dataset and the reconstruction of spatially coherent, averaged conditions for the boreal cold (November-March) and warm (May,September) season using a reduced space optimal interpolation (RSOI) technique, in which the data is projected on a limited number of empirical orthogonal functions. This approach is validated on modern data that are sampled in a similar way as the early-instrumental data. The reconstruction for the November,March period shows a large area with anomalously high temperatures from the point where the Gulf Stream separates from the coast until ca. 20W. A tongue of anomalous cool water is found at the eastern side of the North Atlantic basin, along the coast of Europe and northern Africa. In the northeastern South Atlantic, anomalously high temperatures are found, while temperatures in the southwestern South Atlantic are anomalously cool. For the March,September season, anomalous temperatures in the South Atlantic are similar, but stronger, compared with those in the boreal cold season. Over the North Atlantic, there is not much similarity between the current SST reconstructions and those published in the late 1950s. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

A gridded hourly precipitation dataset for Switzerland using rain-gauge analysis and radar-based disaggregation

Marc West
Abstract Rain gauges and weather radars both constitute important devices for operational precipitation monitoring. Gauges provide accurate yet spotty precipitation estimates, while radars offer high temporal and spatial resolution yet at a limited absolute accuracy. We propose a simple methodology to combine radar and daily rain-gauge data to build up a precipitation dataset with hourly resolution covering a climatological time period. The methodology starts from a daily precipitation analysis, derived from a dense rain-gauge network. A sequence of hourly radar analyses is then used to disaggregate the daily analyses. The disaggregation is applied such as to retain the daily precipitation totals of the rain-gauge analysis, in order to reduce the impact of quantitative radar biases. Hence, only the radar's advantage in terms of temporal resolution is exploited. In this article the disaggregation method is applied to derive a 15-year gridded precipitation dataset at hourly resolution for Switzerland at a spatial resolution of 2 km. Validation of this dataset indicates that errors in hourly intensity and frequency are lower than 25% on average over the Swiss Plateau. In Alpine valleys, however, errors are typically larger due to shielding effects of the radar and the corresponding underestimation of precipitation periods by the disaggregation. For the flatland areas of the Swiss Plateau, the new dataset offers an interesting quantitative description of high-frequency precipitation variations suitable for climatological analyses of heavy events, the evaluation of numerical weather forecasting models and the calibration/operation of hydrological runoff models. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

A comparative study of the magnitude, frequency and distribution of intense rainfall in the United Kingdom

John C. Rodda
Abstract During the 1960s, a study was made of the magnitude, frequency and distribution of intense rainfall over the United Kingdom, employing data from more than 120 daily read rain gauges covering the period 1911 to 1960. Using the same methodology, that study was recently updated utilizing data for the period 1961 to 2006 for the same gauges, or from those nearby. This paper describes the techniques applied to ensure consistency of data and statistical modelling. It presents a comparison of patterns of extreme rainfalls for the two periods and discusses the changes that have taken place. Most noticeably, increases up to 20% have occurred in the north-west of the country and in parts of East Anglia. There have also been changes in other areas, including decreases of the same magnitude over central England. The implications of these changes are considered. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Simulation of the intraseasonal and the interannual variability of rainfall over West Africa with RegCM3 during the monsoon period

M. B. Sylla
Abstract Intraseasonal and interannual variability of rainfall is simulated using the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) Regional Climate Model (RegCM3) over West Africa. The intraseasonal variability of rainfall showing three distinct phases and the monsoon jump is well reproduced in the simulation. In addition, the regional model shows that while the monsoon rainbelt moves to the Sahel, the African Easterly Jet (AEJ) undergoes a northward migration and a weakening from June to August, when the core is at its northernmost location. This coexists with the appearance and the strengthening of the Tropical Easterly Jet (TEJ), the development and increased activity of the African Easterly Waves (AEWs), and the intensification and northward shift of the ascent between the AEJ and the TEJ core levels and axis. Similarly, the simulated interannual variability of rainfall over West Africa, the Guinea region, and the Sahel, as well as the variability of atmospheric features during contrasting wet and dry years, is also well captured. In fact, in the simulation during dry years the AEWs activity is decreased while the AEJ is strengthened and migrates southward, the TEJ becomes weaker, and the ascent between the levels of the AEJ and the TEJ decreases. The simulated rainfall variability and the behavior of the related features during the rainy season and during contrasting wet and dry years are in line with previous studies that used observations and reanalysis. We conclude that this model performance is of sufficient quality for application to the study of climate processes and mechanisms over West Africa. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Constructing a non-linear relationship between the incoming solar radiation and bright sunshine duration

Khil-Ha Lee
Abstract This paper reports the application of a non-linear relationship between the incoming shortwave solar radiation and bright sunshine duration. The newly suggested equation is a modified form of the existing Angstrom equation. Measurements of solar radiation and sunshine radiation from 1997 to 2006 at 21 meteorological stations were used to calibrate and validate the suggested equation. The model parameters required to specify the nature of the relationship between solar radiation and sunshine duration were determined by automatically minimizing the difference between the modelled and measured solar radiation. At the 21 meteorological stations, the absolute error (AE) is in the range of ,0.126,0.158 MJm,2 day,1 for the original Angstrom equation, while it is in the range of ,0.089,0.154 MJm,2 day,1 for the modified equation. The root mean square error (RMSE) is also improved by 7,8% for the modified method. The results show that the newly suggested equation generally provides better performance than the existing Angstrom equation. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

An investigation of solar erythemal ultraviolet radiation in the tropics: a case study at four stations in Thailand

Serm Janjai
Abstract Our study examines a 5-year data set of erythemal ultraviolet radiation (EUV) collected at four locations in Thailand: Chiang Mai (18.78N, 98.98E), Ubon Ratchathani (15.25N, 104.87E), Nakhon Pathom (13.82N, 100.04E) and Songkhla (7.20N, 100.60E). Seasonal changes are strongly influenced by the wet and dry season in this tropical environment, with maximum daily and noontime irradiances being reached in April or May, prior to the onset of the wet season. Transmission by aerosols, estimated by comparison of cloudless measured irradiance with a cloudless sky model, ranges from 51% at Chiang Mai to 83% at Songkhla during the dry season. By contrast, higher transmissions characterise the wet season when values around 90% are reached. Cloud cover further depletes the EUV irradiance and wet season transmissions range from 68% at Chiang Mai to 79% at Songkhla. Three of the four stations record increases in EUV irradiance over the study period. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Climatological radar delineation of urban convection for Atlanta, Georgia

Mace L. Bentley
Abstract The distribution of warm season (June through August) thunderstorm activity surrounding Atlanta, Georgia from 1997 to 2006 was determined utilizing composite reflectivity data obtained from the network of National Weather Service radars. The radar data, at 2 km and 5 min spatial and temporal resolutions, allows for high resolution analyses of urban convective trends when grid averaged over a 10-year period. Maxima of medium- to high-reflectivity episodes were identified to the north of and within downtown Atlanta and immediately east of the primary urban expansion of the central business district (CBD). Additional enhanced, high-reflectivity areas are found in southern Fulton and Clayton counties, located south of downtown Atlanta. These regions are also collocated with high-density urban expansion south of the Atlanta CBD. The research presented is the most comprehensive spatial and temporal analysis of grid averaged composite reflectivity data for urban convection conducted to date. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Continental-scale phenology: warming and chilling

Mark D. Schwartz
Abstract With abundant evidence of recent climate warming, most vegetation studies have concentrated on its direct impacts, such as modifications to seasonal plant and animal life cycle events (phenology). The most common examples are indications of earlier onset of spring plant growth and delayed onset of autumn senescence. However, less attention has been paid to the implications of continued warming for plant species' chilling requirements. Many woody plants that grow in temperate areas require a certain amount of winter chilling to break dormancy and prepare to respond to springtime warming. Thus, a comprehensive assessment of plant species' responses to warming must also include the potential impacts of insufficient chilling. When collected at continental scale, plant species phenological data can be used to extract information relating to the combined impacts of warming and reduced chilling on plant species physiology. In this brief study, we demonstrate that common lilac first leaf and first bloom phenology (collected from multiple locations in the western United States and matched with air temperature records) can estimate the species' chilling requirement (1748 chilling hours, base 7.2 C) and highlight the changing impact of warming on the plant's phenological response in light of that requirement. Specifically, when chilling is above the requirement, lilac first leaf/first bloom dates advance at a rate of , 5.0/, 4.2 days per 100-h reduction in chilling accumulation, while when chilling is below the requirement, they advance at a much reduced rate of , 1.6/, 2.2 days per 100-h reduction. With continental-scale phenology data being collected by the USA National Phenology Network (, these and more complex ecological questions related to warming and chilling can be addressed for other plant species in future studies. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

An analysis of cloud observations from Vernadsky, Antarctica

Amlie Kirchgner
Abstract This paper presents results of a combined analysis of cloud observations made at the Antarctic base Faraday/Vernadsky between 1960 and 2005 and sea ice concentration from the HadISST1 data set. The annual total cloud cover has increased significantly during this period with the strongest and most significant positive trend found in winter, and positive tendencies observable in all seasons. This trend is associated with a decrease in sea ice concentration in the area of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Though the observed sea ice reduction is actually larger and more significant in summer and autumn, there is actually a significant relation between total cloud cover and sea ice concentration only in winter. The increase in the total cloud cover is neither reflected in the low cloud amount nor in the number of records for low, medium or high level clouds. It is therefore thought that the increase in the total cloud cover is caused by an increase in the amount of medium and/or high level clouds. Instead, records for the low cloud amount show a redistribution from cases of extreme cloud cover (0, 1, 7 and 8 okta), which account for up to 90% of annual records, to cases of moderate cloud cover. In accordance with the decrease in sea ice, this may indicate a shift from low-level stratiform towards convective clouds. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

European snow cover extent variability and associations with atmospheric forcings

Gina R. Henderson
Abstract Snow cover in Europe represents an important component of the region's climatic system. Variability in snow cover extent can have major implications on factors such as low-level atmospheric temperatures, soil temperatures, soil moisture, stream discharge, and energy allocation involved in the warming and melting of the snowpack. The majority of studies investigating Northern Hemisphere snow cover identify European snow cover extent as a portion of the Eurasian record, possibly masking complexities of this subset. This study explores the variability of European snow cover extent from 1967,2007, with the region in question including the area of Europe extending eastward to the Ural Mountains (60E). Using the 89 89 gridded National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Northern Hemisphere weekly satellite snow cover product, area estimates of seasonal snow cover were calculated, and their relationship to gridded temperature, precipitation, and sea-level pressure data analysed. The spatial variability of snow cover extent was also explored using geographical information systems (GIS). The combined results from both surface temperature and precipitation analyses point towards snow cover extent in Europe being primarily temperature dependent. Atmospheric variables associated with extremes in snow cover extent were investigated. Large (small) European snow extent is associated with negative (positive) 850 hPa zonal wind anomalies, negative (positive) European 1000,500 hPa thickness anomalies, and generally positive (negative) Northern European precipitation anomalies. Sea-level pressure and 500 hPa results indicate strong associations between large (small) snow cover seasons and the negative (positive) phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Changes in hot days and heat waves in China during 1961,2007

Ting Ding
Abstract Based on the daily maximum temperature (DMT) records at 512 stations during 1961,2007, the geographical patterns and temporal variations of hot days (HDs) and heat waves (HWs, including those persisting for 3,5 days and longer) over mainland China were studied. The HD (and hence HW) was defined in two ways, one by an absolute criterion, DMT > 35 C, as applied in the nationwide meteorological agencies and another in a relative sense, DMT > the 90th percentile threshold of a local daily temperature distribution around the day. Two centers of high frequencies (over 5 days per year) of the absolute HDs during June,September were found in the regions of Xinjiang and the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The highest frequencies of the absolute HWs were about 1.5 times per year in the Xinjiang region and to the south of the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River. The frequencies of the relative HWs were about 1,1.5 times per year in most of China. The HDs and HWs increased significantly during the studied period in most of China, especially over the southeastern coast and northern China (by over 4 days per decade for relative HDs and 0.4 times per decade for relative HWs), but decreased significantly at some stations in the lower reaches of the Yellow River. Over most of China except northwestern China, the frequency of HDs was high during the 1960s,1970s, low in the 1980s, and high afterwards, with strong interannual variations. A remarkable increasing trend of HDs occurred after the 1990s in all regions. The changes in HDs and HWs were closely related to those in rain days and atmospheric circulation patterns at the interannual and interdecadal scales. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Early 20th century Arctic warming in retrospect

Kevin R. Wood
Abstract The major early 20th century climatic fluctuation (,1920,1940) has been the subject of scientific enquiry from the time it was detected in the 1920s. The papers of scientists who studied the event first-hand have faded into obscurity but their insights are relevant today. We review this event through a rediscovery of early research and new assessments of the instrumental record. Much of the inter-annual to decadal scale variability in surface air temperature (SAT) anomaly patterns and related ecosystem effects in the Arctic and elsewhere can be attributed to the superposition of leading modes of variability in the atmospheric circulation. Meridional circulation patterns were an important factor in the high latitudes of the North Atlantic during the early climatic fluctuation. Sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies that appeared during this period were congruent with low-frequency variability in the climate system but were themselves most likely the result of anomalous forcing by the atmosphere. The high-resolution data necessary to verify this hypothesis are lacking, but the consistency of multiple lines of evidence provides strong support. Our findings indicate that early climatic fluctuation is best interpreted as a large but random climate excursion imposed on top of the steadily rising global mean temperature associated with anthropogenic forcing. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Causal factors for spatial variation in long-term phenological trends in Ginkgo biloba L. in Japan

Kazuho Matsumoto
Abstract Distinct plant phenological changes caused by increasing temperature have been reported in several regions. However, spatial patterns in long-term phenological trends and their causal factors have not been fully examined. Attempts were made to address these issues using a long-term (1961,2000) phenological dataset (budding and leaf fall dates) for Ginkgo biloba L. from 60 meteorological stations in Japan. Although many stations indicated earlier budding and delayed leaf fall, there were large differences among stations. First, the author tried to understand the spatial variation patterns of the long-term phenological trends relative to geography. However, there was no significant relationship between phenological trends and geographical variables: latitude, longitude, and altitude, with the exception of a negative relationship between the trend of leaf fall date and latitude. Second, relationships between phenological trends, long-term trends in air temperature, and phenological sensitivity of Ginkgo to variations in air temperature were investigated as direct causal factors for spatial variations in phenological trends. With respect to the air temperature trend, a negative relationship was found with the budding trend, but there was no obvious relationship with the leaf fall trend. On the other hand, the spatial variability of the phenological sensitivity to temperature was relatively large and displayed a significant linear relationship with trends in budding and leaf fall. Where trees had higher sensitivity to temperature, they showed earlier budding and delayed leaf fall. The results obtained from multiple linear regressions indicated that the spatial variations in phenological trends were dependent more on phenological sensitivity to air temperature than temperature trends. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Empirical models of UV total radiation and cloud effect study

David Mateos Villn
Abstract Several empirical models of hourly ultraviolet total radiation (UVT) have been proposed in this study. Measurements of UVT radiation, 290,385 nm, have been recorded at ground level from February 2001 to June 2008 in Valladolid, Spain (latitude 4140,N, longitude 450,W and 840 m a.s.l.). The empirical models have emerged due to the lack of some radiometric variables in measuring stations. Hence, good forecasts of them can be obtained from usual measures in these stations. Therefore, some advantages of the empirical models are that they allow the estimation of past missing data in the database and the forecast of future ultraviolet solar availability. In this study, reported models in the bibliography have been assessed and recalibrated. New expressions have been proposed that allow obtaining hourly values of ultraviolet radiation from global radiation measures and parameters as clearness index and relative optical air mass. The accuracy of these models has been assessed through the following statistical indices: mean bias, mean-absolute bias and root-mean-square errors whose values are close to zero, below 7% and below 10%, respectively. Two new clear sky models have been used to evaluate two new parameters: ultraviolet and global cloud modification factors, which can help to understand the role of the clouds on solar radiation. The ultraviolet cloud modification factor depends on cloudiness in such a way that its value under overcast skies is half of the cloudless skies one. Exponential and potential fits are the best relationships between both cloud factors. Finally, these parameters have been used to build new UV empirical models which show low values of the statistical indices mentioned above. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

An evaluation of high resolution precipitation products at low resolution

Mathew Raymond Paul Sapiano
Abstract The large-scale homogeneity of several high-resolution satellite-based estimates of precipitation is assessed against the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) between January 2003 and December 2006. The high-resolution estimates are aggregated to match the resolution of GPCP (monthly, 2.5) and an Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) analysis is conducted on each product along with an analysis of the slope from a linear regression with time. The results show that some of the datasets have significant artefacts and that none of the high-resolution products give a good depiction of precipitation above 50N. The two datasets which are most consistent with GPCP are the Tropical Rainfall Monitoring Mission (TRMM) Multi-satellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) and the Global Satellite Mapping Project (GSMaP) both of which have undergone recent re-processing which is an important quality for dataset homogeneity. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Hierarchical Bayesian modelling of wind and sea surface temperature from the Portuguese coast

Ricardo T. Lemos
Abstract In this work, we revisit a recent analysis that pointed to an overall relaxation of the Portuguese coastal upwelling system, between 1941 and 2000, and apply more elaborate statistical techniques to assess that evidence. Our goal is to fit a model for environmental variables that accommodate seasonal cycles, long-term trends, short-term fluctuations with some degree of autocorrelation, and cross-correlations between measuring sites and variables. Reference cell coding is used to investigate similarities in behaviour among sites. Parameter estimation is performed in a single modelling step, thereby producing more reliable credibility intervals than previous studies. This is of special importance in the assessment of trend significance. We employ a Bayesian approach with a purposely developed Markov chain Monte Carlo method to explore the posterior distribution of the parameters. Our results substantiate most previous findings and provide new insight on the relationship between wind and sea surface temperature off the Portuguese coast. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Uncertainties in early Central England temperatures

David E. Parker
Abstract Uncertainties in historical climate records constrain our understanding of natural variability of climate, but estimation of these uncertainties enables us to place recent climate events and extremes into a realistic historical perspective. Uncertainties in Central England temperature (CET) since 1878 have already been estimated; here we estimate uncertainties back to the start of the record in 1659, using Manley's publications and more recently developed techniques for estimating spatial sampling errors. Estimated monthly standard errors are of the order of 0.5 C up to the 1720s, but 0.3 C subsequently when more observing sites were used. Corresponding annual standard errors are up to nearly 0.4 C in the earliest years but around 0.15 C after the 1720s. Daily standard errors from 1772, when the daily series begins, up to 1877 are of the order of 1 C because only a single site was used at any one time. Inter-diurnal variability in the daily CET record appears greater before 1878 than subsequently, partly because the sites were in the Midlands or southern England where day-to-day temperature variability exceeds that in the Lancashire part of Manley's CET. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

A multi-time scale Australian monsoon index

Yoshiyuki Kajikawa
Abstract A broad-scale Australian monsoon index (AUSMI) describing multi-time scale variations is defined by using 850 hPa zonal wind averaged over the area (5S,15S, 110E,130E). This circulation index reflects monsoonal rainfall variability over Northern Australia and maritime continent. The index can be used to depict the seasonal cycle (for instance the onset) and measure the intraseasonal, interannual, and interdecadal variations of the Australian monsoon. The interannual variation of the Australian monsoon onset determined by the AUSMI agrees well with that derived from the rainfall and winds at Darwin in the previous studies. We found a significant anti-correlation between the monsoon onset date and the seasonal (DJF) mean AUSMI anomalies; namely an early onset is accompanied by a strong Australian summer monsoon and vice versa. These interannual variations are also strongly associated with El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). In contrast, the retreat dates are not significantly different between the strong and weak Australian summer monsoon years. The AUSMI is useful in monitoring the weather and climate variations of the Australian monsoon and validating the performance of climate models. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Long-term changes and regional differences in temperature and precipitation in the metropolitan area of Hamburg

K. H. Schlnzen
Abstract Climate changes and the urban climate of the ,green city' Hamburg and its metropolitan region are analyzed using observational data for temperature and precipitation. Values for Hamburg's synoptic site HH-Fuhlsbttel start in 1891 and are used to determine climate changes. Additional data from up to 45 climate stations are used to analyze the different aspects of the regional climate and urban effects on the temperature [urban heat island (UHI)] and precipitation [urban precipitation impact (UPI)]. The analysis of the long-term data shows that the climate has already changed. Annual precipitation significantly increases ,0.8 mm/year when focusing on years 1891,2007 and ,1.3 mm/year for 1948,2007. Precipitation increases are largest in November through March and March as well as June for 1978,2007. For April and July of this period, a precipitation decrease is found. The precipitation distribution shows that moderate daily precipitation amounts (,10 mm/day) have increased by about 10% between 1948,1977 and 1978,2007. Precipitation amounts > 10 mm/day have increased by 20% in the same period. Average temperatures significantly increase by 0.07 K/decade (1891,2007), 0.19 K/decade (1948,2007), 0.6 K/decade (1978,2007) with largest significant increases in fall. For the UHI, it is found that the average temperature is higher up to 1.1 K in the densely build-up city area than outside. Values are about halved for more green urban areas but also depend on more local impacts. The minimum temperatures are up to 3 K higher and maximum temperatures slightly lower in the inner city than in the rural during summer. The winter temperatures are higher throughout the urban area. The UHI differences depend on wind speed; this dependence is best described by using the inverse square root of the wind speed. Classification using different wind directions shows that the precipitation is significantly higher (5,20%) for downwind of urban areas compared with the upwind side. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

A modified support vector machine based prediction model on streamflow at the Shihmen Reservoir, Taiwan

Pei-Hao Li
Abstract The uncertainty of the availability of water resources during the boreal winter has led to significant economic losses in recent years in Taiwan. A modified support vector machine (SVM) based prediction framework is thus proposed to improve the predictability of the inflow to Shihmen reservoir in December and January, using climate data from the prior period. Highly correlated climate precursors are first identified and adopted to predict water availability in North Taiwan. A genetic algorithm based parameter determination procedure is implemented to the SVM parameters to learn the non-linear pattern underlying climate systems more flexibly. Bagging is then applied to construct various SVM models to reduce the variance in the prediction by the median of forecasts from the constructed models. The enhanced prediction ability of the proposed modified SVM-based model with respect to a bagged multiple linear regression (MLR), simple SVM, and simple MLR model is also demonstrated. The results show that the proposed modified SVM-based model outperforms the prediction ability of the other models in all of the adopted evaluation scores. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Seasonal and inter-annual variability of the moisture sources for Alpine precipitation during 1995,2002

Harald Sodemann
Abstract This study presents a first quantitative climatology of the moisture sources for precipitation in the European Alps, covering a 7-year period from January 1995 to August 2002. Using a Lagrangian moisture source diagnostic and data from the ERA-40: European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis, the contribution of the following moisture sources to annual mean precipitation has been diagnosed: North Atlantic ocean 39.6%, Mediterranean 23.3%, North Sea and Baltic Sea 16.6%, and European land surface 20.8%. However, strong seasonal variability of the influence of various moisture sources is evident. Most notably, moisture transport to the Alps changes from an oceanic mode characterised by dominantly North Atlantic moisture sources during winter to a continental mode during summer with a marked contribution from Central European land areas. The method identifies inter-annual variability with respect to the location of the moisture sources in the North Atlantic, and the importance of precipitation recycling during summer. Despite the smoothed Alpine orography in the ERA-40 model, the Alps act as an effective barrier for meridional moisture transport, leading to distinct mean moisture source locations at their northern and southern slopes. The Northern Alps are predominantly influenced by the North Atlantic ocean and Central European land sources with a clear seasonality and limited monthly variability. In contrast, the Southern Alps receive a large fraction of precipitation from the Mediterranean with considerable month-to-month variability. Possible implications of these differences for precipitation extremes and stable isotopes in precipitation are discussed. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Annual temperature history in Southwest Tibet during the last 400 years recorded by tree rings

Bao Yang
Abstract We present a tree ring-width record from the southern Tibetan Plateau (TP) which spans from 1612,1998 AD (387 years). The series was developed from Tibetan juniper (Juniperus tibetica Kom) growing at sites near the western distribution limit of the species. Two versions of the chronology, a traditionally standardized chronology (TSC) and a regional curve standardization (RCS)chronology were developed. Linear regression models between ring width and mean annual temperature account for 41% (TSC) and 43% (RCS) of the annual (July,June) temperature variance for the period 1957,1998. According to the TSC reconstruction, warm periods occurred during the 1620s, 1650,1675, 1720s, 1740,1790, 1810s, 1850s,1890s, 1935,1950, and 1957,1964 and since 1980. Cold conditions prevailed during the 1630s,1640s, 1680s,1710s, 1730s, 1820,1840s, 1900s,1920s and the 1970s. Within the last 400 years, the late-20th century warming is distinctive but still within the range of natural climatic variability of this region. Comparison of our TSC reconstruction with proxy temperature records from other parts of the TP shows that the cold conditions during the 1730s, 1900s,1920s, and 1970s, and the warm periods during the 1770,1800, 1850s,1890s, 1935,1950, and 1957,1964 and since 1980 were synchronously occurring broad-scale climate anomalies on the whole TP. Differences between the reconstructions are found during the 17th century and around 1760, which were probably caused by local differences in temperature change and different sensitivity in seasonality. The RCS series portrays low-frequency variations such as warm periods during 1620,1640, 1650,1690, 1715,1790, and 1845,1875, and cold conditions during 1640,1650, 1690,1715, and 1875,1995. These long-term trends need to be verified by developing other proxy records that target to capture low-frequency signals in the future. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Effects of urbanization on the land sea breeze circulation over the Pearl River Delta region in winter

Xi Lu
Abstract In this study, the fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University-National Center for Atmospheric Research Model (MM5) was used to investigate the effects of urbanization on land,sea breezes (LSBs) in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, which is a rapidly developing area located in southern China. LSBs in the 2003/2004 winter were simulated utilizing an approach in which the NCEP Final Analysis data averaged in the 2003/2004 winter is used as initial and lateral boundary conditions for the model. The simulated surface winds are shown to be capable of reproducing the basic features and diurnal variation of the LSBs. Sensitivity experiments with changes in land uses were performed with this model. Results of these experiments show that urbanization in the PRD region can have significant effects on the patterns of the LSBs and circulation in the region. In particular, it has been shown that the urbanization of Shenzhen (a major city located in the eastern coast of the PRD and neighbouring to the north of Hong Kong) may significantly enhance the sea breeze to the west of Hong Kong in the early afternoon. This may enhance the low-level convergence in Hong Kong and may worsen the air pollution problem there. On the other hand, the effects of urbanization in the western coast of the PRD region are relatively local and LSBs on the eastern PRD are generally not affected. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Air temperature changes in the arctic from 1801 to 1920

Rajmund Przybylak
Abstract In this paper, the results of an investigation into the thermal conditions in the Arctic in the period from 1801 to 1920 are presented. For this ,early instrumental' period limited meteorological data exist. Generally, the first meteorological stations in the Arctic were established in the second half of the 19th century and almost all of them were located in the coastal parts of Greenland. In order to get at least a rough idea of thermal conditions in the Arctic in the study period, data from different land and marine expeditions were collected. A total of 118 temperature series of monthly means have been gathered. Although the area and time periods covered by the data are variable, it is still possible to describe the general character of the temperature conditions. The results show that the areally averaged Arctic temperature in the early instrumental period was 0.8 C lower than the next 60-year period (1861,1920). In comparison to present-day conditions, winter and autumn were significantly colder (winter by 1.6 C and autumn by 0.9 C) than were summer (colder by 0.4 C) and spring (colder by only 0.2 C). The air temperature in the real Arctic during the first International Polar Year (IPY) was, on average, colder than today by 1.0,1.5 C. Winter was exceptionally cold with the average temperature being lower by more than 3 C in all months except February. On the other hand, spring (March,May) was slightly warmer than today, and April was exceptionally warm (1.1 C above present norm). The temperature differences calculated between historical and modern mean monthly temperatures show that majority of them lie within one standard deviation (SD) from present long-term mean. Thus, it means that the climate in the early instrumental period was not as cold as some proxy data suggest. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Response of the summer atmospheric circulation over East Asia to SST variability in the tropical Pacific

Rena Nagata
Abstract General circulation over East Asia and its linkages with sea surface temperature (SST) variability over the tropical Pacific is investigated for the 1958,2000 period. The western edge of the North Pacific subtropical high (NPSH) index (SHI) is defined from pentad 31 (May 31 to June 4) to pentad 49 (August 29 to September 2). A southwestward extension of the SHI has been observed since 1980. The changes in the NPSH are associated with SST warming in the tropical eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean. On the basis of the SHI, years with western, eastern, southern and northern displacement of the NPSH are defined as WD, ED, SD and ND years. WD and SD years occur after 1980. Climatologically, the subsidence is located around 30N in the western Pacific. This subsidence area corresponds to the NPSH region. Before pentad 40 in WD and SD years, associated with warm SST anomalies, circulation anomalies show an ascending motion over the tropical eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean. This ascending motion induces the anomalous subsidence over the tropical western Pacific and causes the southwestward extension of the NPSH. After pentad 40 (July 15,19), the seasonal evolution of WD years is different from the SD years. After pentad 40 in WD years, associated with large warm SST anomalies over the tropical eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean, the strong anomalous ascending motion strengthens the anomalous subsidence in the western tropical Pacific and leads to the lack of the eastward contraction of the NPSH. In SD years, warm SST anomalies over the tropical eastern Pacific and Indian Ocean weakened after pentad 40. Correspondently, the weakened anomalous ascending motion over these regions provides the weak anomalous subsidence over the tropical western Pacific. The weakened anomalous subsidence leads to the eastward contraction of the NPSH after pentad 40 similar to the climatological evolution. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Interannual and interdecadal variations of tropical cyclone activity in the South China Sea

Andy Zung-Ching Goh
Abstract This study attempts to identify the factors affecting annual tropical cyclone (TC) activity in the South China Sea (SCS) using data during the period 1965,2005. The results indicate that the total number of TCs and number of TCs entering the SCS from the Western North Pacific are below normal in El Nio events but above normal during La Nia events. However, for TCs formed inside the SCS, the difference in numbers between the two phases of the El Nio-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is not as obvious. In addition, the positive phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) generally favours less TCs in all categories, while the negative PDO phase favours more. These results may be explained by the fact that the ENSO and the PDO affect TC behaviour through altering the conditions in the WNP to be favourable or unfavourable for TC genesis and movement into the SCS. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Snow in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

Andrew G. Fountain
Abstract Snowfall was measured at 11 sites in the McMurdo Dry Valleys to determine its magnitude, its temporal changes, and spatial patterns. Annual values ranged from 3 to 50 mm water equivalent with the highest values nearest the coast and decreasing inland. A particularly strong spatial gradient exists in Taylor Valley, probably resulting from local uplift conditions at the coastal margin and valley topography that limits migration inland. More snow occurs in winter near the coast, whereas inland no seasonal pattern is discernable. This may be due, again, to local uplift conditions, which are common in winter. We find no influence of the distance to the sea ice edge. Katabatic winds play an important role in transporting snow to the valley bottoms and essentially double the precipitation. That much of the snow accumulation sublimates prior to making a hydrologic contribution underscores the notion that the McMurdo Dry Valleys are indeed an extreme polar desert. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

On the interannual wintertime rainfall variability in the Southern Andes

M. H. Gonzlez
Abstract The paper concentrates on the analysis of the interannual variability of wintertime rainfall in the Southern Andes. Besides the socio-economic relevance of the region, mainly associated with hydroelectric energy production, the study of the climate variability in that area has not received as much attention as others along the Andes. The results show that winter rainfall explains the largest percentage of regional total annuals. A principal component analysis (PCA) of the winter rainfall anomalies showed that the regional year-to-year variability is mostly explained by three leading patterns. While one of them is significantly associated with both the El Nio Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), the other two patterns are significantly related to interannual changes of the sea surface temperature (SST) anomalies in the tropical Indian Ocean. Specifically, changes in the ocean surface conditions at both tropical basins induce in the atmospheric circulation the generation of Rossby wave trains that extend along the South Pacific towards South America, and alter the circulation at the region under study. The relationship between variability in the Indian Ocean and the Andes climate variability has not been previously addressed. Therefore, this result makes a significant contribution to the identification of the sources of predictability in South America with relevant consequences for future applications in seasonal predictions. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Synoptic forcing of precipitation in the Mackenzie and Yukon River basins

Elizabeth N. Cassano
Abstract The relationship between near-surface atmospheric circulation, as characterized by sea level pressure patterns, and precipitation in the Mackenzie and Yukon River basins is presented. A synoptic climatology of sea level pressure patterns based on daily sea level pressure anomalies from the ERA40 reanalysis dataset was created using the method of self-organizing maps. This objective analysis identified all major near-surface atmospheric circulation patterns in the region and illustrated the change in dominant circulation patterns throughout the seasons, with strong Aleutian low patterns dominant in the winter and patterns characterized by low pressure over land areas and the Beaufort/Chukchi Seas in the summer. These synoptic patterns were then related to daily precipitation in the Mackenzie and Yukon River basins. The largest daily precipitation values, for both the Mackenzie and Yukon basins, were associated with patterns that occur most frequently in the summer, likely associated with increased frequency of cyclones and convective events that occur over land in that season. During winter, the largest positive precipitation anomalies were along the coastal mountain range in southeastern Alaska associated with Aleutian lows bringing warm, moist flow from the south resulting in upslope flow on the windward side of these mountains. These patterns were responsible for many of the large precipitation events in the winter in the Mackenzie basin. The largest precipitation events in the winter in the Yukon basin occurred with patterns that have a low pressure centre to the southwest of the basin. This synoptic pattern results in southerly flow advecting moisture into the basin to the west of the higher topography which bounds much of the southern boundary of the Yukon watershed. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]

Variability and trends in the directional wave climate of the Southern Hemisphere

Mark A. Hemer
Abstract The effect of interannual climate variability and change on the historic, directional wave climate of the Southern Hemisphere is presented. Owing to a lack of in situ wave observations, wave climate in the Southern Hemisphere is determined from satellite altimetry and global ocean wave models. Altimeter data span the period 1985 to present, with the exception of a 2-year gap in 1989,1991. Interannual variability and trends in the significant wave height are determined from the satellite altimeter record (1991 to present), and the dominant modes of variability are identified using an empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis. Significant wave heights in the Southern Ocean are observed to show a strong positive correlation with the Southern Annular Mode (SAM), particularly during Austral autumn and winter months. Correlation between altimeter derived significant wave heights and the Southern Oscillation Index is observed in the Pacific basin, which is consistent with several previous studies. Variability and trends of the directional wave climate are determined using the ERA-40 Waves Re-analysis for the period 1980,2001. Significant wave height, mean wave period and mean wave direction data are used to describe the climate of the wave energy flux vector. An EOF analysis of the wave energy flux vector is carried out to determine the dominant modes of variability of the directional seasonal wave energy flux climate. The dominant mode of variability during autumn and winter months is strongly correlated to the SAM. There is an anti-clockwise rotation of wave direction with the southward intensification of the Southern Ocean storm belt associated with the SAM. Clockwise rotation of flux vectors is observed in the Western Pacific Ocean during El-Nino events. Directional variability of the wave energy flux in the Western Pacific Ocean has previously been shown to be of importance to sand transport along the south-eastern Australian margin, and the New Zealand region. The directional variability of the wave energy flux of the Southern Ocean associated with the SAM is expected to be of importance to the wave-driven currents responsible for the transport of sand along coastal margins in the Southern Hemisphere, in particular those on the Southern and Western coastal margins of the Australian continent. Copyright 2009 Royal Meteorological Society [source]