Climatic Change

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

Twentieth century changes in winter climatic regions

  • Robert C. BallingJr.
  • Merlin P. Lawson


The configuration of the northern hemispheric general atmospheric circulation system shifted from a zonal to a meridional pattern in the early 1950s. Winter climatic regions in the conterminous United States are developed for a ten year period dominated by zonal flow and a second decade of meridional flow using a combination of principal components factor analysis and a Euclidean distance clustering algorithm. The results demonstrate that regional patterns in the surface climatic data substantially changed as the circulation system shifted its basic configuration. The regional structures of the eastern United States and the Great Plains appeared to be particularly sensitive to the change in the upperlevel flow pattern.


United States Circulation System Cluster Algorithm Atmospheric Circulation Climatic Data 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References and notes

  1. [1]
    Oliver, J. E.: 1973,Climate and Man's Environment, John Wiley, New York, pp. 169–191.Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    Critchfield, H. J.: 1960,General Climatology, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., p. 165.Google Scholar
  3. [3]
    Russell, R. J.: 1932,Univ. of California Publs. in Geogr. 5.Google Scholar
  4. [4]
    Russell, R. J.: 1934,Geogr. Rev. 24, 92.Google Scholar
  5. [5]
    Bowman, I.: 1935,Geogr. Rev. 25, 43.Google Scholar
  6. [6]
    Kendall, H. M.: 1935,Geogr. Rev. 25, 117.Google Scholar
  7. [7]
    Kendall [6] stated that the idea of ‘climatic years’ was first suggested to him in 1928 by the noted geographer Preston E. James.Google Scholar
  8. [8]
    Gregory, S.: 1954,Erdkunde 8, 246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. [9]
    Dayal, E.: 1962,Indian Geogr. J. 37, 83.Google Scholar
  10. [10]
    Doerr, A. H. and Sutherland, S. M. 1964,J. Geogr. 63, 62.Google Scholar
  11. [11]
    Bryson, R. A., Baerreis, D. A., and Wendland, W. M.: 1970, in W. Dort Jr. (ed.),Pleistocene and Recent Environments of the Central Great Plains, The University Press of Kansas, Lawrence.Google Scholar
  12. [12]
    Borchert, J. R.: 1950,Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 40, 1.Google Scholar
  13. [13]
    Borchert, J. R.: 1961,Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 61, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. [14]
    Lamb, H. H.: 1966,The Changing Climate, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  15. [15]
    Lamb, H. H.: 1977,Climate: Present, Past and Future. Vol. 2. Climatic History and the Future, Methuen, London.Google Scholar
  16. [16]
    Bryson, R. A.: 1966,Geogr. Bull. 8, 234.Google Scholar
  17. [17]
    Krebes, J. S., and Barry, R. G.: 1970,Geogr. Rev. 60, 548.Google Scholar
  18. [18]
    Sorenson, C. J.: 1977,Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 67, 214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. [19]
    van Loon, H. and Williams, J.: 1976,Monthly Weather Rev. 104, 365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. [20]
    Kalnicky, R. A.: 1974,Ann. Assoc. Am. Geogr. 64, 100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. [21]
    Dzerdzeevskii, B. L.: 1966, in H. E. Wright (ed.)Quaternary Geology and Climate, National Academy of Sciences, Washington.Google Scholar
  22. [22]
    Harman, J. R.: 1971,Tropospheric Waves, Jet Streams, and United States Weather Patterns, Commission on College Geography Resource Paper No. 11 (Assoc. Am. Geogr., Washington).Google Scholar
  23. [23]
    U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA,Climatological Data: National Summary, National Climatic Center, Asheville, N.C.Google Scholar
  24. [24]
    Mitchell, J. M., Dzerdzeevskii, B., Flohn, H., Hofmeyr, W. L., Lamb, H. H., Rao, K. N., and Wallen, C. C.: 1966,Climatic Change,Technical Note No. 79, W.M.O., Geneva.Google Scholar
  25. [25]
    Clark, P. J. and Evans, F. C.: 1954,Ecology 35, 445.Google Scholar
  26. [26]
    A nearest-neighbor statistic,R, of 1.36 determined for the station network falls along a continuum between the random (R = 1.00) and uniform (R = 2.15) patterns.Google Scholar
  27. [27]
    Berry, B. J. L. and Ray, D. M.: 1966, in T. Rymes and S. Ostry (eds.),Regional Statistical Studies, University of Toronto Press, Toronto.Google Scholar
  28. [28]
    Steiner, D.: 1965,Tijdschr. Kon. Ned. Aardr. Gen. 82, 329.Google Scholar
  29. [29]
    McBoyle, G. R.: 1971,Austral. Geogr. Stud. 9, 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. [30]
    Sneath, P. H. A. and Sokal, R. R.: 1973,Numerical Taxonomy, Freeman, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  31. [31]
    Amedeo, D. and Golledge, R. G.: 1975,An Introduction to Scientific Reasoning in Geography, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  32. [32]
    Sneath and Sokal [30] describe a cophenetic correlation statistic that estimates the effectiveness of a linkage tree in displaying relative-distances in climatic space. It is the correlation of implied climatic distances between stations on the linkage tree and actual distances between stations in climatic space. The high cophenetic correlation values (0.93 and 0.88 for the zonal and meridional periods, respectively) calculated in the study suggest that meaningful clustering was accomplished.Google Scholar
  33. [33]
    Mitchell, J. M.: 1953,J. Met. 10, 244.Google Scholar
  34. [34]
    Chorley, R. J., and Haggett, P.: 1968, in B. J. L. Berry and D. F. Marble (eds.),Spatial Analysis, Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs. N.J.Google Scholar
  35. [35]
    Callendar, G. S.: 1961,Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. 87, 1.Google Scholar
  36. [36]
    Mitchell, J. M.: 1963, inChanges of Climate, Arid Zone Research XX, UNESCO, Paris.Google Scholar
  37. [37]
    Manley, G.: 1974,Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc. 100, 387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. [38]
    Brinkmann, W. A. R.: 1976,Quat. Res. 6, 355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. [39]
    Wendland, W. M. and Bryson, R. A.: 1981,Monthly Weather Rev. 109, 255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert C. BallingJr.
    • 1
  • Merlin P. Lawson
    • 1
  1. 1.Climatology Program, Department of GeographyUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

Personalised recommendations