28 Jan 2021

28 Jan 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Reconstructing winter climate anomalies in the Euro-Atlantic sector using circulation patterns

Erica Madonna1, David S. Battisti2, Camille Li1, and Rachel H. White3 Erica Madonna et al.
  • 1Geophysical Institute, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway
  • 2Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
  • 3Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia

Abstract. The efficacy of Euro-Atlantic circulation regimes for estimating wintertime climate anomalies (precipitation and surface temperature) over Europe is assessed. A comparison of seasonal climate reconstructions from two different regime frameworks (cluster analysis of the low-level zonal flow, and traditional blocking indices) is presented and contrasted with seasonal reconstructions using the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index. The reconstructions are quantitatively evaluated using correlations and the coefficient of efficiency, accounting for misfit in phase and amplitude. While all methods show skill in reproducing wintertime precipitation and temperature variability, they underestimate the magnitude of seasonal anomalies by a factor of two. The regimes are found to capture more spatial structure in seasonal precipitation anomalies over Europe than the NAO, with the jet framework showing generally better skill relative to the blocking indices. The reconstructions of temperature anomalies have lower skill than those for precipitation, with the best results for temperature obtained by the NAO for high-latitude and by the blocking framework for southern Europe.

Erica Madonna et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on wcd-2021-6', Anonymous Referee #1, 25 Feb 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on wcd-2021-6', Anonymous Referee #2, 04 Mar 2021

Erica Madonna et al.

Data sets

North Atlantic jet stream clusters: daily and seasonal occurence Erica Madonna

Erica Madonna et al.


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Short summary
The amount of precipitation over Europe largely varies from year to year, with impacts on crop yields and energy production. In this study, we show that it is possible to infer much of the winter precipitation and temperature signal over Europe by only knowing the frequency of occurrence of certain atmospheric circulation patterns. The results highlight the importance of (daily) weather to understand and interpret seasonal signals.