, Volume 14, Issue 7-8, pp 529-536

Northeast Atlantic winter storminess 1875–1995 re-analysed

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 Northeast Atlantic winter storminess is analysed for the period 1875–1995 using a new dataset consisting of multi-daily mean sea level pressure observations from a selected set of stations in the northeast Atlantic. An analysis of storminess is presented, based on the high-pass filtered signal from these observations, from which selected percentiles are calculated for each winter. This method avoids potential inhomogeneity problems (artificial trends or jumps). Our finding is an increase, however not a dramatic one, during the past 2–3 decades in the northeasternmost part of the storm track, but the dominant features are inter-annual and decadal variations. Furthermore, the variations in storminess are found to be statistically linked to low-frequency circulation variations represented by the winter average of the MSL pressure field over the North Atlantic. It is argued that the existence of this link could have dynamical consequences for the response of the atmosphere to external forcing.

Received: 20 May 1997 / Accepted: 13 January 1998