Climate Dynamics

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 53–66

The influence of oceanic conditions on the hot European summer of 2003

Article

Abstract

The summer of 2003 was the hottest on record throughout much of Europe. Understanding how the event developed and the factors that contributed to it may help us improve seasonal forecasting models and assess the risk of such events in the future. This study uses atmosphere-only model integrations and observed data to investigate the potential predictability of the climate anomalies, and in particular the impact that the warming in the Indian Ocean and Mediterranean Sea had on the development of the temperature anomalies. The model results suggest that the temperature anomalies were potentially predictable and that both Indian Ocean and Mediterranean sea surface temperature anomalies contributed to the development of the observed warm and dry anomalies over Europe. Furthermore, it was found that, in the model, the Mediterranean anomalies contributed most strongly to the warming in June and July and the Indian Ocean anomalies enabled the positive temperature anomalies to persist into August. Previously published work has described the role of the Indian monsoon in modulating the seasonal cycle in rainfall over Europe. Comparison with this work suggests a mechanism by which warming in the Indian Ocean may have contributed to the persistence of the temperature and precipitation anomalies into August.

References

  1. Stott PA, Stone DA, Allen MR (2004) Human contribution to the European heatwave of 2003. Nature 432:610–644CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Schaer C, Vidale PL, Luethi D, Frei C, Haeberli C, Liniger MA, Appenzeller C (2004) The role of increasing temperature variability in European summer heatwaves. Nature 427:332–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Black E, Blackburn M, Harrison G, Hoskins BJ, Methven J (2004) Factors contributing to the summer 2003. Eur Heatwave Weather 59:217–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cassou C, Terray L, Phillips AS (2005) Tropical Atlantic influence on european heat waves. J Clim 18:2805–2811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Grazzini F, Ferranti L, Lanlaurette F, Vitart F (2003) The exceptionally warm anomalies of summer 2003. ECMWF Newslett 99:2–8Google Scholar
  6. Beniston M (2004) The 2003 heat wave in Europe: a shape of things to come? An analysis based on Swiss climatological data and model simulations Geophys Res Lett 31. Doi:10.1029/2003GLO18857Google Scholar
  7. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R, Collins W, Deaven D, Gandin L, Iredell M, Saha S, White G, Woollen J, Zhu Y, Chelliah M, Ebisuzaki W, Higgins W, Janowiak J, Mo KC, Ropelewski C, Wang J, Leetmaa A, Reynolds R, Jenne R, Joseph D (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:437–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Annamalai H, Slingo JM, Sperber KR, Hodges K (1999) The mean evolution and variability of the Asian summer monsoon: comparison of ECMWF and NCEP-NCAR reanalyses. Mon Weather Rev 127:1157–1186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pope VD, Gallani M, Rowntree P, Stratton R (2000) The impact of new physical parameterisations in the Hadley Centre climate model: HadAM3. Clim Dyn 19:123–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Colman A, Davey M (1999) Prediction of summer temperature, rainfall and pressure in Europe from preceding winter North Atlantic ocean temperature. Int J Climatol 19:513–536CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Palmer TN, Anderson DLT (1994) The prospects for seasonao forecasting—a review paper. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 120:755–793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brankovic C, Palmer TN (2000) Seasonal skill and predictability of ECMWF PROVOST ensembles. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 126:2035–2067CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Xoplaki E, Gonzalez-Rouco JF, Luterbacher J, Wanner H (2003) Mediterranean summer air temperature variability and its connection to the large-scale atmospheric circulation and SSTs. Clim Dyn 20:723–739Google Scholar
  14. Rodwell MJ, Hoskins BJ (1996) Monsoons and the dynamics of deserts. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 122:1385–1404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gill AE (1980) Some simple solutions ofr heat-induced tropical circulation. Q J Roy Meteorol Soc 106:447–462CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Spencer H, Sutton R, Slingo JM, Roberts M, Black E (2005) The Indian Ocean climate and dipole variability in the Hadley Centre Coupled GCMs. J Clim 18:2286–2307CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Global Atmospheric ModellingUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

Personalised recommendations