27 Jun 2022
27 Jun 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal WCD.

Solar association with winter synoptic situations in the north Atlantic – European sector

Gilles Delaygue1, Stefan Brönnimann2, and Philip D. Jones3 Gilles Delaygue et al.
  • 1Institut des géosciences de l’environnement, University Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble, 38400, France
  • 2Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research and Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, 3012, Switzerland
  • 3Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, Norwich, NR4 7TJ, UK

Abstract. A series of daily atmospheric flow over the British Isles (the Lamb weather types, LWT) is used to detect possible relationship in winters of the 20th century with the aa index, a proxy of solar activity, and the quasi-biennial oscillation of stratospheric winds (QBO). Our aim is to address different methodological flawns impairing the conclusions of previous studies. We find statistically significant changes in the occurrence of LWT when grouped according to synoptic situations defined by their succession. Combined high aa index and westerly QBO conditions are found to favour the group of LWT which corresponds to more northern location of storm tracks in the north Atlantic. Easterly QBO conditions are found to favour the group of LWT which corresponds to more southern location of storm tracks, or to a blocked circulation over Europe. This latter group of LWT is also favoured in the month following sudden stratospheric warmings of the polar vortex, and this is consistent with a contribution of the polar vortex to these solar and QBO associations with LWT. For a large part these results compare well with previous studies; they are slightly more statistically significant and are not impaired by the methodological problem of time resolution. However, our results are not consistent throughout the 20th century, and it is not possible to decipher whether this is due to shortcomings of the data or to a non-stationary relationship due to the marked secular trend in the solar activity.

Gilles Delaygue 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-2022-33', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Jul 2022
  • CC1: 'Comment on wcd-2022-33', Ales Kuchar, 28 Jul 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on wcd-2022-33', Anonymous Referee #2, 03 Aug 2022
  • AC1: 'Comment on wcd-2022-33', Gilles Delaygue, 16 Sep 2022
  • AC2: 'Comment on wcd-2022-33', Gilles Delaygue, 27 Sep 2022

Gilles Delaygue et al.

Gilles Delaygue et al.


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Short summary
We test whether any association between solar activity and meteorological conditions in the north Atlantic – European sector could be detected. We find associations consistent with those found by previous studies, with a slightly better statistical significance, and with less methodological biases which have impaired previous studies. Our study should help strengthen the recognition of meteorological impacts of solar activity.