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

Lavers, David and Prudhomme, Christel and Hannah, David M. (2013) European precipitation connections with large-scale mean sea-level pressure (MSLP) fields. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58 (2). pp. 310-327. ISSN 0262-6667

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URL of Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02626667.2012.754545

Identification Number/DOI: doi:10.1080/02626667.2012.754545

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.

Type of Work:Article
Date:2013 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:GB Physical geography
GC Oceanography
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:Taylor and Francis
ID Code:1344
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