Seasonal Aspects of an Objective Climatology of Anticyclones Affecting the Mediterranean

Maria Hatzaki Department of Environmental Physics–Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Helena A. Flocas Department of Environmental Physics–Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Ian Simmonds School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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John Kouroutzoglou Department of Environmental Physics–Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, Athens, Greece

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Kevin Keay School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Irina Rudeva School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Abstract

An objective climatology of anticyclones over the greater Mediterranean region is presented based on the Interim ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) for a 34-yr period (1979–2012) and the Melbourne University automatic identification and tracking algorithm. The scheme’s robustness and reliability for the transient extratropical propagation of anticyclones, with the appropriate choices of parameter settings, has been established and the results obtained here present new research perspectives on anticyclonic activity affecting the Mediterranean. Properties of Mediterranean anticyclones, such as frequency, generation and dissipation, movement, scale, and depth are investigated. The highest frequency of anticyclones is found over continental areas, while the highest maritime frequency occurs over closed basins exhibiting also maxima of anticyclogenesis. There is a significant seasonality in system density and anticyclogenesis maxima, this being associated with the seasonal variations of the larger-scale atmospheric circulation that affect the greater Mediterranean region.

Corresponding author address: Maria Hatzaki, Department of Environmental Physics–Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, Building PHYS-5, University of Athens, University Campus, 157 84 Athens, Greece. E-mail: marhat@phys.uoa.gr

Abstract

An objective climatology of anticyclones over the greater Mediterranean region is presented based on the Interim ECMWF Re-Analysis (ERA-Interim) for a 34-yr period (1979–2012) and the Melbourne University automatic identification and tracking algorithm. The scheme’s robustness and reliability for the transient extratropical propagation of anticyclones, with the appropriate choices of parameter settings, has been established and the results obtained here present new research perspectives on anticyclonic activity affecting the Mediterranean. Properties of Mediterranean anticyclones, such as frequency, generation and dissipation, movement, scale, and depth are investigated. The highest frequency of anticyclones is found over continental areas, while the highest maritime frequency occurs over closed basins exhibiting also maxima of anticyclogenesis. There is a significant seasonality in system density and anticyclogenesis maxima, this being associated with the seasonal variations of the larger-scale atmospheric circulation that affect the greater Mediterranean region.

Corresponding author address: Maria Hatzaki, Department of Environmental Physics–Meteorology, Faculty of Physics, Building PHYS-5, University of Athens, University Campus, 157 84 Athens, Greece. E-mail: marhat@phys.uoa.gr
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