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How exceptional was the early August 2003 heatwave in France?



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Trigo, Ricardo Machado and García Herrera, Ricardo and Díaz, Julio and Trigo, Isabel Franco and Valente, María Antonia (2005) How exceptional was the early August 2003 heatwave in France? Geophysical research letters, 32 (10). ISSN 0094-8276

[thumbnail of garciaherrera61libre.pdf]

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2005GL022410


The summer of 2003 was characterised by exceptionally warm weather in Europe with the average temperature exceeding that of any previous summer over the last 500 years. The seasonal 2003 summer temperature for central Europe was beyond the historical distribution range and could bear a closer resemblance with climate change scenarios for late XXI century. Nevertheless, it was the heatwave that occurred between the 1st and the 15th of August 2003 that had a major impact in excessive mortality rates throughout Europe, with catastrophic amplitude in France. Here we show, on a daily basis, when and where the magnitude and spatial extent of this heatwave episode has surpassed previous historical maxima, and that this episode is associated with an equally maximum blocking pattern over western Europe. Finally we show that surface and low troposphere air temperature anomalies are particularly well associated with the increased mortality rates in France.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:

Copyright 2005 by the American Geophysical Union.
We would like to thank J. Luterbacher and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. The authors are in debt with C. Gouveia for her technical support.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Temperature variability
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:34780
Deposited On:10 Dec 2015 15:21
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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