Linear and nonlinear links of winter European precipitation to Northern Hemisphere circulation patterns

  • Francisco J. Álvarez-GarcíaEmail author
  • Maria J. OrtizBevia
  • William Cabos
  • Miguel Tasambay-Salazar
  • Antonio RuizdeElvira


The connections between European rainfall variability in winter (from January to March) and Northern Hemisphere circulation patterns, as represented by 500-hPa geopotential height, are investigated in the period 1900–2014. Initially, three statistically significant pairs of linearly-related circulation and precipitation patterns, explaining 45% of the variance in the latter field, are identified. The first two essentially represent the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the East Atlantic (EA) patterns, while the third corresponds to a structure described in recent literature as a blend of the Pacific North America (PNA) pattern and the so-called Asia Bering North America (ABNA) pattern. The residual precipitation field is then examined for patterns that can introduce non-linear modulations into the circulation-precipitation links. It is so found that the NAO impact on European rainfall is modulated by North American and Pacific factors controlling cyclogenesis over Newfoundland. The positive-phase EA rainfall anomalies over Central Europe and the British Isles seem to be markedly affected by the NAO phase. Finally, a possible signature from the Circumglobal Teleconnection Pattern disrupting the NAO influence on East Mediterranean precipitation anomalies is detected.


European precipitation Teleconnections North Atlantic Oscillation East Atlantic 



Support for the Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project version 2c dataset is provided by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science Biological and Environmental Research (BER), and by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Program Office. NCAR Command Language (NCL, has been used to prepare several figures in the paper. The helpful comments and suggestions from the anonymous reviewers are most gratefully acknowledged.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Física y MatemáticasUniversidad de AlcaláAlcalá de HenaresSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Informática y ElectrónicaEscuela Superior Politécnica de ChimborazoRiobambaEcuador

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