Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 131, Issue 1–2, pp 433–443 | Cite as

Changes in precipitation regime in the Baltic countries in 1966–2015

  • Jaak Jaagus
  • Agrita Briede
  • Egidijus Rimkus
  • Mait Sepp
Original Paper


The aim of the study was to analyse trends and regime shifts in time series of monthly, seasonal and annual precipitation in the eastern Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia) during 1966–2015. Data from 54 stations with nearly homogeneous series were used. The Mann-Kendall test was used for trend analysis and the Rodionov test for the analysis of regime shifts. Rather few statistically significant trends (p < 0.05) and regime shifts were determined. The highest increase (by approximately 10 mm per decade) was observed in winter precipitation when a significant trend was found at the large majority of stations. For monthly precipitation, increasing trends were detected at many stations in January, February and June. Weak negative trends revealed at few stations in April and September. Annual precipitation has generally increased, but the trend is mostly insignificant. The analysis of regime shifts revealed some significant abrupt changes, the most important of which were upward shifts in winter, in January and February precipitation at many stations since 1990 or in some other years (1989, 1995). A return shift in the time series of February precipitation occurred since 2003. The most significant increase in precipitation was determined in Latvia and the weakest increase in Lithuania.



This study was realised using the financial support of the Ministry of Education and Research of the Republic of Estonia (the institutional research grant IUT 2-16). We are grateful to the Latvian Council of Science (grant no. 526/2016) for supporting this research. This work was also done within the ESSEM COST Action ES1206.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaak Jaagus
    • 1
  • Agrita Briede
    • 2
  • Egidijus Rimkus
    • 3
  • Mait Sepp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geography, Institute of Ecology and Earth SciencesUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of LatviaRigaLatvia
  3. 3.Department of Hydrology and ClimatologyVilnius UniversityVilniusLithuania

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