European precipitation connections with large-scale mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) fields

Lavers, David; Prudhomme, Christel; Hannah, David M.. 2013 European precipitation connections with large-scale mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) fields. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58 (2). 310-327.

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To advance understanding of hydroclimatological processes, this paper links spatiotemporal variability in gridded European precipitation and large-scale mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) time series (1957–2002) using monthly concurrent correlation. Strong negative (positive) correlation near Iceland and (the Azores) is apparent for precipitation in northwest Europe, confirming a positive North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) association. An opposing pattern is found for southwest Europe, and the Mediterranean in winter. In the lee of mountains, MSLP correlation is lower reflecting reduced influence of westerlies on precipitation generation. Importantly, European precipitation is shown to be controlled by physically interpretable climate patterns that change in extent and position from month to month. In spring, MSLP–precipitation correlation patterns move and shrink, reaching a minimum in summer, before expanding in the autumn, and forming an NAO-like dipole in winter. These space–time shifts in correlation regions explain why fixed-point NAO indices have limited ability to resolve precipitation for some European locations and seasons.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 3 - Science for Water Management > WA - 3.1 - Develop next generation methods for river flow frequency estimation and forecasting
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 0262-6667
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Freely available on publisher's website - click on Official URL link to access full text
Additional Keywords: large-scale climate, precipitation, Europe, ERA-40, NAO, hydroclimatological variability
NORA Subject Terms: Meteorology and Climatology
Date made live: 14 Aug 2013 12:06 +0 (UTC)

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