Wet and Dry Monthly Anomalies Across the Mediterranean Basin and their Relationship with Circulation, 1860–1990
- Cite this article as:
- Maheras, P., Xoplaki, E. & Kutiel, H. Theor Appl Climatol (1999) 64: 189. doi:10.1007/s007040050122
Anomalously wet and dry months in the Mediterranean basin were identified during the period 1860–1990 from observations at five stations located along the west-east axis of the Mediterranean basin (Barcelona, Florence, Malta, Athens and Jerusalem), supplemented by data from Madrid and Lisbon. Wet and dry months were characterized by hydric indices (HI) based on values of the standardized precipitation anomalies. Different patterns of anomalously wet and dry months were qualitatively identified on the basis of the spatial distributions of the hydric indices. The standardized sea level pressure values at 56 grid points in the domain 35° N–65° N, 30° W–40° E, for each of the anomalously wet and dry months, were subjected to T-mode Principal Component Analysis.
The mean hydric indices associated with each principal component in each season are arranged in four distinct different spatial distributions for wet months and in three for dry months as following: (a) Mediterranean wide distribution of positive/negative anomalies; (b1) Strong positive anomalies to the west, but weaker to eastern Mediterranean; (b2) Strong negative anomalies to the west, but weaker or normal to the east; (c1) Strong positive anomalies to the west and to the east and weaker ones to the central Mediterranean; (c2) Negative anomalies to the west and east, but weaker, or normal, or positive to the central Mediterranean; (d) Relatively strong positive anomalies to the east and weaker ones to the western Mediterranean.
Finally, monthly mean charts of standardized anomaly and mean sea level pressure are presented for each principalcomponent in each season. These charts are used to interpret the spatial distribution of the positive and negative precipitation anomalies in terms of mean circulation over the domain.