Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 111, Issue 3–4, pp 623–639 | Cite as

Climatology of precipitation extremes in Estonia using the method of moving precipitation totals

  • Tiina Tammets
  • Jaak JaagusEmail author
Original Paper


A method of moving precipitation totals is described and applied for the analysis of precipitation extremes in Estonia. Numbers of extremely wet and extremely dry days and other indices of precipitation extremes were calculated using the daily precipitation data measured at 51 stations over Estonia during 1957–2009. Mean regularities of spatial and seasonal distribution were determined. Long-term changes were detected using Sen's method and Mann–Kendall test. The highest risk of heavy precipitation is in the regions of higher mean precipitation on the uplands and on the belt of higher precipitation in the western part of continental Estonia. Wet spells have their sharp maxima in July and August. The highest risk of droughts is observed in the coastal regions of West Estonia. In the coastal area, droughts appear mostly in the first half of summer, while in the eastern Estonia, they are usually observed during the second half of summer. Extreme precipitation events have become more frequent and intense. Statistically significant increasing trends were, first of all, found in the time series of winter extreme precipitation indices. In summer and autumn, trends existed in some indices, but in spring, there were no trends at all. There were no trends in time series of dryness indices in Estonia in 1957–2009.


Precipitation Amount Precipitation Extreme Heavy Precipitation Absolute Maximum Heavy Rainfall Event 
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This study has been supported by the grant no. 7510 of the Estonian Science Foundation and by the target financed project SF0180049s09 of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Estonia. The authors thank their colleagues Raivo Aunap and Andres Luhamaa for the assistance in preparing the cartographic images.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Estonian Meteorological and Hydrological InstituteTallinnEstonia
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth SciencesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

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