Non‐stationary control of the NAO on European rainfall and its implications for water resource management

Rust, William; Bloomfield, John P. ORCID:; Cuthbert, Mark O.; Corstanje, Ron; Holman, Ian P.. 2021 Non‐stationary control of the NAO on European rainfall and its implications for water resource management. Hydrological Processes, 35 (3), e14099.

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Water resource forecasting generally centres on understanding hydrological variability over coming months or years, so that water managers can prepare for extremes such as droughts or floods (Chang & Guo, 2020; Hao et al., 2018). Some forecasting systems seek to project further into the future to allow long‐term planning of infrastructure and resilience to extremes and climate change (Svensson et al., 2015). These systems can rely directly or indirectly on outputs from Global Climate Models (GCMs; such as gridded reanalysis datasets) to forecast hydrological conditions (Bhatt & Mall, 2015; Ionita & Nagavciuc, 2020). In the North Atlantic region, in particular Western Europe, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) is used as an indicator for hydrometeorological conditions given its leading control on winter rainfall totals (Hurrell & Deser, 2010; Scaife et al., 2008, 2014). A dipole of pressure anomalies over the North Atlantic, the NAO's positive phase (greater than average pressure gradient; NAO+) results in wetter conditions in northwest Europe with dryer conditions in southwest Europe (Rust et al., 2018; Trigo et al., 2004). Its negative phase (weaker than average pressure gradient; NAO−) results in the inverse effect on rainfall (Folland et al., 2015; and as shown by the correlation coefficients in Figure 1). Given this relationship, and, considering the role of winter rainfall variability in groundwater drought development (e.g., reduced winter recharge) and generation of late winter/early spring floods, the NAO offers a potential explanatory variable when understanding the behaviour of some hydrological extremes. image

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 0885-6087
Additional Keywords: GroundwaterBGS, Groundwater
Date made live: 08 Apr 2021 12:22 +0 (UTC)

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