Climatic Change

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 443–455 | Cite as

The first meteorological measurements in the Iberian Peninsula: evaluating the storm of November 1724

  • F. Domínguez-Castro
  • R. M. Trigo
  • J. M. Vaquero


Early instrumental series can play a key role in the study of recent climate change or assessments of specific extreme events. Unfortunately in the Iberian Peninsula few series are available relative to the 18th century. In this article we retrieved and make available the first daily instrumental series obtained in Iberia. The observations were made in Lisbon between 1 November 1724 and 11 January 1725 by Diogo Nunes Ribeiro. While pressure and temperature values were registered twice a day, the remaining variables, i.e. the state of the sky, wind direction and force, have only one value per day. Despite the relatively short period covered by this series, we were very fortunate to discover that it helps to characterize one of the strongest storms that struck Lisbon since the early 17th century. In particular, the data provide evidence for an outstanding pressure drop of 28.61 hPa from 1010.76 hPa on the 18 November to just 982.15 hPa on the 19 November. Using recently digitized pressure data for Lisbon since 1863, we can state that this 24 h decrease of surface pressure has been surpassed only once on the 28 November 1879. Moreover, the extreme winds associated with this “bomb” affected severely the entire Lisbon area as well as large sections of central and northern Portugal during the afternoon of 19 November and caused important damage in the eastern coast of Madeira the night before (18 November). This storm resembles the rare tropical storms that have reached the Iberian Peninsula as a tropical storm (Vince 2005) or the low intense hurricane that occurred in 1842.

Supplementary material

10584_2012_628_MOESM1_ESM.doc (969 kb)
ESM 1(DOC 969 kb)
10584_2012_628_MOESM2_ESM.doc (36 kb)
ESM 2(DOC 36 kb)


  1. Alcoforado MJ, Vaquero JM, Trigo RM, Taborda JP (2012) Early Portuguese meteorological measurements (18th century). Clim Past 8:353–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barriendos M, Gómez B, Peña JC (1997) Old series of meteorological readings for Madrid and Barcelona (1780–1860). Documentary and observed characteristics. In: Martín Vide J (ed) Advances in Historical Climatology in Spain. Oikos-Tau, Barcelona, pp 157–172Google Scholar
  3. Barriendos M, Martin-Vide J, Peña JC, Rodríguez R (2002) Daily Meteorological Observations in Cádiz—San Fernando. Analysis of the Documentary Sources and the Instrumental Data Content (1786–1996). Clim Chang 53:151–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergström H, Moberg A (2002) Daily air temperature and pressure series for Uppsala (1722–1998). Clim Chang 53:213–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Betencourt J, Dorta P (2010) The storm of November 1826 in the Canary Islands: possibly a tropical cyclone? Geogr Ann 92(3):329–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Böhm R, Ingeborg A, Brunetti M et al (2001) Regional temperature variability in the European Alps: 1760–1998 from homogenized instrumental time series. Int J Climatol 21:1779–1801CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brázdil R, Wheeler D, Pfister C (2010) European climate of the past 500 years based on documentary and instrumental data. Clim Chang 101(1–2):1–6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brázdil R, Zahradníček P, Pišoft P et al (2012) Temperature and precipitation fluctuations in the Czech Republic during the period of instrumental measurements. Theor Appl Climatol 110(1–2):17–34Google Scholar
  9. Büntgen U, Tegel W, Nicolussi K et al (2011) 2500 years of European climate variability and human susceptibility. Science 331:578–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Camuffo D, Bertolin C (2012a) The earliest temperature observations in the world: the Medici Network (1654–1670). Clim Chang 111(2):335–363CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Camuffo D, Bertolin C (2012b) Recovery of the early period of long instrumental time series of air temperature in Padua, Italy (1716–2005). Phys Chem Earth 40–41:23–31Google Scholar
  12. Camuffo D, Jones P (2002) Improved understanding of past climatic variability from early daily European instrumental sources. Clim Chang 53(1–4)Google Scholar
  13. Camuffo D, Bertolin C, Barriendos M et al (2010) 500-year temperature reconstruction in the Mediterranean Basin by means of documentary data and instrumental observations. Clim Chang 101:169–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Camuffo D, Bertolin C, Diodato N et al (2012) Western Mediterranean precipitation over the last 300 years from instrumental observations. Clim Chang. doi:10.1007/s10584-012-0539-9
  15. Chenoweth M, Landsea CW (2004) The San Diego hurricane of 2 October 1858. Bull Amer Meteorol Soc 85:1689–1697CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Comani S (1987) The historical temperature series of Bologna (Italy): 1716–1774. Clim Chang 11:375–390CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Compo GP, Whitaker JS, Sardeshmukh PD et al (2011) The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project. Q J R Meteorol Soc 137:1–28. doi:10.1002/qj.776 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cornes RC, Jones PD, Briffa KR, Osborn TJ (2012a) A daily series of mean sea-level pressure for London, 1692–2007. Int J Climatol 32(5):641–656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cornes RC, Jones PD, Briffa KR, Osborn TJ (2012b) A daily series of mean sea-level pressure for Paris, 1670–2007. Int J Climatol 32(8):1135–1150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Da Conceição (1820) Gabinete Historico, desde 1717 até1729 vol 7. Na Impressāo regia, LisboaGoogle Scholar
  21. Da Silva FA, Azevedo C (1940) Elucidário Madeirense. Typograhia Esperanca, FunchalGoogle Scholar
  22. Demarée GR, Lachaert PJ, Verhoeve T, Thoen E (2002) The long-term daily central Belgium temperature (CBT) series (1767–1998) and early instrumental meteorological observations in Belgium. Clim Chang 53:269–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Doria JM (2001) Antonio Ribeiro Sanches A Portuguese doctor in 18th century Europe. Vesalius 7:27–35Google Scholar
  24. Esaguy A (1936) A short note on Isaac de Sequeira Samuda. Inst Hist Med Bull 4:783–788Google Scholar
  25. Fiolhais C (2011) Membros portugueses da Royal Society. Universidade de Coimbra, CoimbraGoogle Scholar
  26. Franklin JL (2006) Tropical cyclone report: Hurricane Vince, 8–11 October 2005. Nacional Hurricane Center. Accessed 20 July 2012
  27. Greenberg MI (2002) A “Haven of Benignity”: Conflict and Cooperation between Eighteenth-Century Savannah Jews. Georgia Hist Q 86(4):544–568Google Scholar
  28. Hyamson AM (1951) Sephardim of England: History of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish Community, 1492–1951. Methuen & Co., LondonGoogle Scholar
  29. Jones PD, Lister DH (2002) The daily temperature record for St. Petersburg (1743–1996). Clim Chang 53:253–267CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Jurin J (1723) Invitatio ad Observationes Meteorologicas Communi Consilio Instituendas. Philos Trans 32:422–427. doi:10.1098/rstl.1722.0082 Google Scholar
  31. Können GP, Jones PD, Kaltofen MH, Allan RJ (1998) Pre 1866 extensions of the Southern oscillation index using early Indonesian and Tahitian Meteorological Readings. J Clim 11:2325–2339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Landman I (1969) The Universal Jewish Enciclopedia, vol 9. KTAV Publishing Haouse, Jersey CityGoogle Scholar
  33. Liberato MRL, Pinto JG, Trigo IF, Trigo RM (2011) Klaus—an exceptional winter storm over northern Iberia and southern France. Weather 66(12):330–334CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Manley G (1974) Central England temperatures: monthly means 1659 to 1973. Q J R Meteorol Soc 100:389–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Middleton WEK (1964) The history of the barometer. The John Hopkins Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  36. Middleton WEK (1966) A History of the Thermometer and Its Use in Meteorology. The John Hopkins Press, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  37. Moberg A, Jones PD, Barriendos M et al (2000) Day-to-day temperature variability trends in 160- to 275-year-long European instrumental records. J Geophys Res 105(D18):22849–22868. doi:10.1029/2000JD900300 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moberg A, Bergström H, Ruiz Krigsman J, Svanered O (2002) Daily air temperature and pressure series for Stockholm (1756–1998). Clim Chang 53:171–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Muir-Wood R (2011) The 1941 February 15th Windstorm in the Iberian Peninsula. Trébol 56:4–13Google Scholar
  40. Pfister C, Garnier E, Alcoforado MJ et al (2010) The meteorological framework and the cultural memory of three severe winter-storms in early eighteenth-century Europe. Clim Chang 101:281–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Przybylak R (2010) Instrumental Observations. In: Przybylak R, Majorowicz J, Brázdil R, Kejna M (eds) The Polish Climate in the European Context an Historical Overview. Springer, Dordrecht Heidelberg London New York, pp 129–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sanders F, Gyakum R (1980) Synoptic-Dynamic Climatology of the “Bomb”. Mon Weather Rev 108:1589–1606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Taborda JP (2006) O temporal de 3 a 6 de dezembro em Portugal reconstituição a partir de fontes documentais descritivas. Finisterra 82:73–86Google Scholar
  44. Trigo IF (2006) Climatology and interannual variability of storm-tracks in the Euro-Atlantic sector: a comparison between ERA-40 and NCEP/NCAR reanalyses. Clim Dyn 26:127–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Trigo RM, Vaquero JM, Alcoforado MJ et al (2009) Iberia in 1816, the year without summer. Int J Climatol 29:99–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Van Swinden JH (1778) Dissertation sur la comparaison des thermomèters. Marc Michel Rey, AmsterdamGoogle Scholar
  47. Vaquero JM, García-Herrera R, Wheeler D et al (2008) A Historical Analog of 2005 Hurricane Vince. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 89(2):191–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Varenius B (1734) A complete system of general geography: explaining the nature and properties of the earth. Stephen Austen, LondonGoogle Scholar
  49. Wheeler D, García-Herrera R, Vaquero JM et al (2009) Reconstructing the trajectory of the August 1680 hurricane from contemporary records. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 90(7):971–978CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Domínguez-Castro
    • 1
  • R. M. Trigo
    • 2
    • 3
  • J. M. Vaquero
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de FísicaUniversidad de ExtremaduraBadajozSpain
  2. 2.IDLUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Departamento de Eng. Civil da Universidade LusófonaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations