Climate Dynamics

, Volume 47, Issue 5–6, pp 1569–1585 | Cite as

The Etesians: from observations to reanalysis

  • Stella Dafka
  • Elena Xoplaki
  • Andrea Toreti
  • Prodromos Zanis
  • Evangelos Tyrlis
  • Christos Zerefos
  • Juerg Luterbacher


The Etesians are among the most persistent regional scale wind systems in the lower troposphere that blow over the Aegean Sea during the extended summer season. In this study we evaluate the performance of three different reanalysis products (the twentieth century reanalysis, 20CR; the 40-year European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, ECMWF, Re-Analysis, ERA40; and the recently released ECMWF reanalysis ERA-20C) in capturing the Etesian wind system. Three-hourly data from 24 stations over Greece are used and compared with reanalysis outputs for the extended summer season (May–September) from 1971 to 2000. An objective classification of Etesians based on the pressure difference over the Aegean is provided. Classified Etesian days are then investigated as well as the associated large scale atmospheric circulation. Results highlight the ability of the investigated reanalyses to adequately describe the Etesian meteorological regimes. Intense Etesians are associated with stronger geopotential height anomalies over western-central Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and with pronounced changes in the mean position of the jet streams. Finally, station time series provide evidence for less frequent intense Etesian days at the end of the extended summer season.


Etesians Extreme wind Mediterranean Twentieth century reanalysis ERA-20C Summer circulation 



The authors wish to thank Prof. Fidel González-Rouco, Dr. Elena Garcia-Bustamante and the PalMA research group (University of Madrid) for many suggestions on a former version of this paper and fruitful discussions. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable critiques and suggestions, which improved the manuscript. We are indebted to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service for the observational dataset. The research leading to these results has received funding from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation. J. Luterbacher was supported by the LOEWE Large Scale Integrated Program (Excellency in research for the future of Hessen) FACE2FACE Folgen des Klimawandels, Anpassung an den Klimawandel und Verminderung der Treibhausgas-Emissionen bis 2050.

Supplementary material

382_2015_2920_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (3 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 3044 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stella Dafka
    • 1
  • Elena Xoplaki
    • 1
  • Andrea Toreti
    • 2
  • Prodromos Zanis
    • 3
  • Evangelos Tyrlis
    • 4
  • Christos Zerefos
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
  • Juerg Luterbacher
    • 1
  1. 1.Climatology, Climate Dynamics and Climate Change, Department of GeographyJustus-Liebig-University of GiessenGiessenGermany
  2. 2.European CommissionJoint Research CentreIspraItaly
  3. 3.Department of Meteorology and Climatology, School of GeologyAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  4. 4.Energy, Environment and Water Research CenterThe Cyprus InstituteNicosiaCyprus
  5. 5.Research Centre for Atmospheric Physics and ClimatologyAcademy of AthensAthensGreece
  6. 6.Biomedical Research FoundationAcademy of AthensAthensGreece
  7. 7.Navarino Environmental ObservatoryCosta NavarinoMessiniaGreece

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