Objective classification of atmospheric circulation over southern Scandinavia

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A method for calculating circulation indices and weather types following the Lamb classification is applied to southern Scandinavia. The main objective is to test the ability of the method to describe the atmospheric circulation over the area, and to evaluate the extent to which the pressure patterns determine local precipitation and temperature in Scania, southernmost Sweden. The weather type classification method works well and produces distinct groups. However, the variability within the group is large with regard to the location of the low pressure centres, which may have implications for the precipitation over the area. The anticyclonic weather type dominates, together with the cyclonic and westerly types. This deviates partly from the general picture for Sweden and may be explained by the southerly location of the study area. The cyclonic type is most frequent in spring, although cloudiness and amount of rain are lowest during this season. This could be explained by the occurrence of weaker cyclones or low air humidity during this time of year. Local temperature and precipitation were modelled by stepwise regression for each season, designating weather types as independent variables. Only the winter season-modelled temperature and precipitation show a high and robust correspondence to the observed temperature and precipitation, even though <60% of the precipitation variance is explained. In the other seasons, the connection between atmospheric circulation and the local temperature and precipitation is low. Other meteorological parameters may need to be taken into account. The time and space resolution of the mean sea level pressure (MSLP) grid may affect the results, as many important features might not be covered by the classification. Local physiography may also influence the local climate in a way that cannot be described by the atmospheric circulation pattern alone, stressing the importance of using more than one observation series.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-169
JournalInternational Journal of Climatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Physical Geography


  • Southern Scandinavia
  • atmospheric circulation patterns
  • weather type classification
  • Lamb weather types
  • station temperature
  • station precipitation


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