The role of atmospheric circulation patterns in driving recent changes in indices of extreme seasonal precipitation across Arctic Fennoscandia

Extreme precipitation events (EPEs) have a major impact across Arctic Fennoscandia (AF). Here we examine the spatial variability of seasonal 50-year trends in three EPEs across AF for 1968–2017, using daily precipitation data from 46 meteorological stations, and analyse how these are related to contemporaneous changes in the principal atmospheric circulation patterns that impact AF climate. Positive trends in seasonal wet-day precipitation (PRCPTOT) are widespread across AF in all seasons except autumn. Spring (autumn) has the most widespread negative (positive) trends in consecutive dry days (CDD). There is less seasonal dependence for trends in consecutive wet days (CWDs), but the majority of the stations show an increase. Clear seasonal differences in the circulation pattern that exerted most influence on these AF EPE trends exist. In spring, PRCPTOT and CDD are most affected by the Scandinavian pattern at more than half the stations while it also has a marked influence on CWD. The East Atlantic/Western Russia pattern generally has the greatest influence on the most station EPE trends in summer and autumn, yet has no effect during either spring or winter. In winter, the dominant circulation pattern across AF varies more between the different EPEs, with the North Atlantic Oscillation, Polar/Eurasia and East Atlantic patterns all exerting a major influence. There are distinct geographical distributions to the dominant pattern affecting particular EPEs in some seasons, especially winter, while in others there is no discernible spatial relationship.


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Authors: Marshall, Gareth ORCIDORCID record for Gareth Marshall, Jylhä, Kirsti, Kivinen, Sonja, Laapas, Mikko, Verpe Dyrrdal, Anita

On this site: Gareth Marshall
1 September, 2020
Climatic Change / 162
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