Relationship of South-Eastern Europe Winter Precipitation with North Atlantic SST

  • M. Hatzaki
  • R. Wu
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Atmospheric Sciences book series (SPRINGERATMO)


As the North Atlantic region shows variations that influence the regional climate, this study aims to investigate the relationship between the North Atlantic SST and the winter precipitation of south-eastern Europe and, furthermore, explore whether this relationship has changed in the past. Such change may be of significant importance for understanding the impacts of global warming on regional climate. The data used involve observational precipitation of 54 stations for 1958–2000 provided by the ECA&D database and the STARDEX EU Project, together with the NOAA Extended Reconstruction SST with 2.0° × 2.0° resolution. The study focuses on interannual variations and a harmonic analysis is applied to the time series to exclude possible contamination of interannual relationship by interdecadal changes. The EOF analysis on winter precipitation data shows that the first EOF explains about 44% of interannual variability and indicates a uniform behaviour over the whole examined area. This EOF is highly correlated with the tropical North Atlantic SST anomalies with a time lag reaching up to two seasons. Moreover, the correlation between winter precipitation and tropical North Atlantic SST seems to weaken from mid-1970s to mid-1980s, and the possible reasons for that change need to be further investigated.


Empirical Orthogonal Function Winter Precipitation Balkan Peninsula North Atlantic Storm Track Interannual Relationship 
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.



This work was realized during the visit of Dr. Hatzaki at the Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), MD, USA, which support is greatly acknowledged.


  1. Bjerknes J (1964) Atlantic air-sea interaction. Adv Geophys 10:1–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Czaja A, Marshall J (2001) Observations of atmosphere-ocean coupling in the North Atlantic. Q J R Meteorol Soc 127:1893–1916. doi: 10.1002/qj.49712757603 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hurrel JW, Ottersen G, Kushnir Y, Visbeck M (2003) An overview of the North Atlantic Oscillation. In: Hurrel JW, Ottersen G, Kushnir Y, Visbeck M (eds) The North Atlantic Oscillation: climatic significance and environment impact, vol 134, Geophysical monograph series. American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC, pp 1–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kalnay E, Kanamitsu M, Kistler R et al (1996) The NCEP/NCAR 40-year reanalysis project. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 77:437–471. doi:10.1175/1520-0477(1996) 077<0437:TNYRP> 2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Marshall J, Johnson H, Goodman J (2001) A study of the interaction of the North Atlantic Oscillation with the ocean circulation. J Clim 14:1399–1421. doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2001) 014 <1399:ASOTIO>2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Matsuura K, Willmott CJ (2009) Terrestrial air temperature: 1900–2008 gridded monthly time series (version 2.01). Center for Climatic Research, Department of Geography, University of Delaware, NewarkGoogle Scholar
  7. Rodriguez-Fonseca B, de Castro M (2002) On the connection between winter anomalous precipitation in the Iberian Peninsula and North West Africa and the summer subtropical Atlantic sea surface temperature. Geophys Res Lett 29:1863. doi: 10.1029/2001GL014421 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Rodwell MJ, Rowell DP, Folland CK (1999) Oceanic forcing of the wintertime North Atlantic Oscillation and European climate. Nature 398:320–323. doi: 10.1038/18648 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Smith TM, Reynolds RW, Peterson TC, Lawrimore J (2008) Improvements to NOAA’s historical merged land-ocean surface temperature analysis (1880–2006). J Clim 21:2283–2296. doi: 10.1175/2007JCLI2100.1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Vizy EK, Cook KH (2001) Mechanisms by which Gulf of Guinea and Eastern North Atlantic sea surface temperature anomalies can influence African rainfall. J Clim 14:795–821. doi:10.1175/1520-0442(2001) 014<0795:MBWGOG>2.0.CO;2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Wu R, Yang S, Liu S, Sun L, Lian Y, Gao Z (2011) Northeast China summer temperature and North Atlantic SST. J Geophys Res 116:D16116. doi: 10.1029/2011JD015779 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Physics and MeteorologyUniversity of AthensAthensGreece
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable DevelopmentNational Observatory of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Institute of Space and Earth Information ScienceThe Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

Personalised recommendations