Climate Dynamics

, Volume 43, Issue 1–2, pp 503–515 | Cite as

Influence of the circumglobal wave-train on European summer precipitation

  • Sajjad SaeedEmail author
  • Nicole Van Lipzig
  • Wolfgang A. Müller
  • Fahad Saeed
  • Davide Zanchettin


We investigate European summer (July–August) precipitation variability and its global teleconnections using the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data (1950–2010) and a historical Coupled Model Intercomparison Project climate simulation (1901–2005) carried out using the ECHAM6/MPIOM climate model. A wavelike pattern is found in the upper tropospheric levels (200 hPa) similar to the summer circumglobal wave train (CGT) extending from the North Pacific to the Eurasian region. The positive phase of the CGT is associated with upper level anomalous low (high) pressure over western (eastern) Europe. It is further associated with a dipole-like precipitation pattern over Europe entailing significantly enhanced (reduced) precipitation over the western (eastern) region. The anomalous circulation features and associated summer precipitation pattern over Europe inverts for the negative CGT phase. Accordingly, the global teleconnection pattern of a precipitation index summarizing summer precipitation over Western Europe entails an upper level signature which consists of a CGT-like wave pattern extending from the North Pacific to Eurasia. The imprint of the CGT on European summer precipitation is distinct from that of the summer North Atlantic Oscillation, despite the two modes of variability bear strong similarities in their upper level atmospheric pattern over Western Europe. The analysis of simulated CGT features and of its climatic implications for the European region substantiates the existence of the CGT-European summer precipitation connection. The summer CGT in the mid-latitude therefore adds to the list of the modes of large-scale atmospheric variability significantly influencing European summer precipitation variability.


European summer precipitation Circumglobal wave train Summer North Atlantic Oscillation 



This study is funded by the Belgian Science Policy (BELSPO) under the MACCBET Project. This research was further supported by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under the MiKlip project. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comment on this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sajjad Saeed
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicole Van Lipzig
    • 1
  • Wolfgang A. Müller
    • 2
  • Fahad Saeed
    • 3
  • Davide Zanchettin
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Earth and Environmental SciencesKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for MeteorologyHamburgGermany
  3. 3.Climate Service CenterHelmholtz-Zentrum GeesthachtHamburgGermany

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