North Atlantic oscillation influence and weather types associated with winter total and extreme precipitation events in Spain



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Queralt, S. and Barriopedro Cepero, David and Hernández, E. and Gallego, D. and Ribera, P. and Casanova, C. (2009) North Atlantic oscillation influence and weather types associated with winter total and extreme precipitation events in Spain. Atmospheric research, 94 (4). pp. 675-683. ISSN 0169-8095

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An analysis of winter intensity and frequency of precipitation is presented, based on 102 daily precipitation stations over Spain and the Balearic Islands for the 1997-2006 decade. Precipitation stations have been merged in the eight different regions which compose the analyzed area by the use of an EOF analysis. NAO influence on the intensity and frequency of precipitation of each region is described in terms of mean precipitation, mean rain frequency, the number of extreme events, changes in the precipitation distribution and the prevalent synoptic configuration. Results indicate a non-stationary response; NAO signal being more evident in mid-late winter. Strong regional differences in the response to NAO are also found, which vary according to the specific character of the precipitation under analysis. Thus, NAO exerts a clear effect on the intensity of total and extreme precipitation rates in northern and westernmost Spanish regions, whereas the frequency of precipitation is clearly affected by NAO in central and southwestern areas. While the correlation between NAO and precipitation is negative for most of the analyzed area, two regions reveal positive responses to NAO in total precipitation occurrence and intensity for specific months. Further analyses reveal asymmetric responses to opposite phases of NAO in the precipitation distributions of some regions. The complex regional relationship between NAO and precipitation is also revealed through the modulation of the former in the preferred Circulation Weather Types associated to precipitation in each region. This spatially non-homogeneous NAO signal stresses the need of caution when employing Iberian precipitation as a proxy for NAO.

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© 2009 Elsevier B.V. General Assembly of the European-Geosciences-Union (2006. Vienna). The authors wish to thank Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia for the grant and contract, respectively, associated to the CG04-05187-
CO3-01/CLI project. The authors also want to thank Agencia
Estatal de Meteorología (AEMET) for supplying precipitation
data. Two anonymous reviewers provided useful comments that helped to improve significantly this manuscript.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Iberian Peninsula, Atmospheric Circulation, Temporal Patterns, Variability, Trends, Rainfall, Links
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
Sciences > Physics > Atmospheric physics
ID Code:24432
Deposited On:11 Mar 2014 08:27
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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