Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 15 items for

  • Author or Editor: David Barriopedro x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All Modify Search
David Barriopedro
and
Natalia Calvo

Abstract

This paper examines the influence of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) on different aspects of major stratospheric sudden warmings (SSWs), focusing on the precursor role of blocking events. The results reveal an ENSO modulation of the blocking precursors of SSWs. European and Atlantic blocks tend to precede SSWs during El Niño (EN), whereas eastern Pacific and Siberian blocks are the preferred precursors of SSWs during La Niña (LN) winters. This ENSO preference for different blocking precursors seems to occur through an ENSO effect on regional blocking persistence, which in turn favors the occurrence of SSWs. The regional blocking precursors of SSWs during each ENSO phase also have different impacts on the upward propagation of planetary-scale wavenumbers 1 and 2; hence, they determine ENSO differences in the wavenumber signatures of SSWs. SSWs occurring during EN are preceded by amplification of wavenumber 1, whereas LN SSWs are predominantly associated to wavenumber-2 amplification. However, there is not a strong preference for splitting or displacement SSWs during any ENSO phase. This is mainly because during EN, splitting SSWs do not show a wavenumber-2 pattern.

Full access
David Barriopedro
,
Manuel Antón
, and
José Agustín García

Abstract

This paper analyzes the statistical relationship between the total ozone column (TOC) and atmospheric blocking using 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-40) data for the 1978–98 period, with special emphasis on winter and the European and eastern Pacific sectors. Regional blocking occurrence is accompanied by a decrease of TOC within the anticyclonic circulation region and a distinctive ozone increase upstream and downstream (upstream and south) in the Pacific (European) sector. Blocking significantly enhances the likelihood of low TOC extremes, especially over the Scandinavian and the Alaska Peninsulas, where more than 50% of winter blocks lead to TOC values in the lowest tail of the distribution. The relationship between ozone miniholes and blocking is confined to the high latitudes of both basins and is strong in Europe, where about half of the ozone miniholes occur simultaneously with blocking. Blocking-related ozone miniholes (blocking ozone miniholes) are also among the most intense and persistent. Although blocking activity does not drive the interannual variability of regional ozone miniholes, blocking ozone miniholes account for up to two-thirds of the total observed trend of ozone miniholes in Europe. The polar vortex is proposed as a feasible candidate for explaining the enhanced coupling of blocking and ozone miniholes in Europe and its long-term modulation. Blocking ozone miniholes are consistent with an almost purely dynamic origin caused by horizontal transport of ozone-poor air and vertical motions working together at different levels to reduce ozone content. Although the contribution of the former is dominant, accounting for two-thirds of ozone reduction in the 330–850-K column, the effect of the latter becomes a distinctive feature of blocking ozone miniholes.

Full access
Cristina Peña-Ortiz
,
David Barriopedro
, and
Ricardo García-Herrera

Abstract

This study analyzes the multidecadal variability of the European summer timing and length. The dates of the summer onset and end are computed through an objective algorithm based on locally defined temperature thresholds applied to the European daily high-resolution gridded dataset (E-OBS) during the period 1950–2012. The results reveal a European mean summer lengthening of 2.4 days decade−1 for the period 1950–2012. However, this trend is confined to the post-1979 period, when lengthening rates range between 5 and 12 days decade−1 over western Europe and the Mediterranean region. In contrast, a widespread summer shortening occurred for the 1950–78 period. The reported changes in the summer length are in agreement with temperature trends during June and September, which affect the summer onset and end dates.

It is shown that the shortening and lengthening with a turning point around 1979 is a leading mode of the summer length multidecadal variability. The trends in the summer length can be explained by the superposition of an Atlantic multidecadal oscillation signal and a long-term trend toward more persistent summers in Europe associated with global warming.

Full access
David Barriopedro
,
Ricardo García-Herrera
,
Anthony R. Lupo
, and
Emiliano Hernández

Abstract

In this paper a 55-yr (1948–2002) Northern Hemisphere blocking climatology is presented. Traditional blocking indices and methodologies are revised and a new blocking detection method is designed. This algorithm detects blocked flows and provides for a better characterization of blocking events with additional information on blocking parameters such as the location of the blocking center, the intensity, and extension. Additionally, a new tracking procedure has been incorporated following simultaneously the individual evolution of blocked flows and identifying coherently persistent blocked patterns.

Using this method, the longest known Northern Hemisphere blocking climatology is obtained and compared with previous studies. A new regional classification into four independent blocking sectors has been obtained based on the seasonally preferred regions of blocking formation: Atlantic (ATL), European (EUR), West Pacific (WPA), and East Pacific (EPA). Global and regional blocking characteristics have been described, examining their variability from the seasonal to interdecadal scales.

The global long-term blocking series in the North Hemisphere showed a significant trend toward weaker and less persistent events, as well as regional increases (decreases) in blocking frequency over the WPA (ATL and EUR) sector. The influence of teleconnection patterns (TCPs) on blocking parameters is also explored, being confined essentially to wintertime, except in the WPA sector. Additionally, regional blocking parameters, especially frequency and duration, are sensitive to regional TCPs, supporting the regional classification obtained in this paper. The ENSO-related blocking variability is evident in blocking intensities and preferred locations but not in frequency. Finally, the dynamical connection between blocking occurrence and regional TCPs is examined through the conceptual model proposed by Charney and DeVore. Observational evidence of a dynamical link between the asymmetrical temperature distributions induced by TCPs and blocking variability is provided with a distinctive contrast “warm ocean/cold land” pattern favoring the blocking occurrence in winter. However, the conceptual model is not coherent in the WPA sector, suggesting different blocking mechanisms operating in this sector.

Full access
Fernando Jaume-Santero
,
David Barriopedro
,
Ricardo García-Herrera
, and
Jürg Luterbacher

Abstract

Main modes of atmospheric variability exert a significant influence on weather and climate at local and regional scales on all time scales. However, their past changes and variability over the instrumental record are not well constrained due to limited availability of observations, particularly over the oceans. Here we couple a reconstruction method with an evolutionary algorithm to yield a new 1° × 1° optimized reconstruction of monthly North Atlantic sea level pressure since 1750 from a network of meteorological land and ocean observations. Our biologically inspired optimization technique finds an optimal set of weights for the observing network that maximizes the reconstruction skill of sea level pressure fields over the North Atlantic Ocean, bringing significant improvements over poorly sampled oceanic regions, as compared to non-optimized reconstructions. It also reproduces realistic variations of regional climate patterns such as the winter North Atlantic Oscillation and the associated variability of the subtropical North Atlantic high and the subpolar low pressure system, including the unprecedented strengthening of the Azores high in the second half of the twentieth century. We find that differences in the winter North Atlantic Oscillation indices are partially explained by disparities in estimates of its Azores high center. Moreover, our reconstruction also shows that displacements of the summer Azores high center toward the northeast coincided with extremely warm events in western Europe including the anomalous summer of 1783. Overall, our results highlight the importance of improving the characterization of the Azores high for understanding the climate of the Euro-Atlantic sector and the added value of artificial intelligence in this avenue.

Full access
Froila M. Palmeiro
,
David Barriopedro
,
Ricardo García-Herrera
, and
Natalia Calvo

Abstract

Sudden stratospheric warmings (SSWs) are characterized by a pronounced increase of the stratospheric polar temperature during the winter season. Different definitions have been used in the literature to diagnose the occurrence of SSWs, yielding discrepancies in the detected events. The aim of this paper is to compare the SSW climatologies obtained by different methods using reanalysis data. The occurrences of Northern Hemisphere SSWs during the extended-winter season and the 1958–2014 period have been identified for a suite of eight representative definitions and three different reanalyses. Overall, and despite the differences in the number and exact dates of occurrence of SSWs, the main climatological signatures of SSWs are not sensitive to the considered reanalysis.

The mean frequency of SSWs is 6.7 events decade−1, but it ranges from 4 to 10 events, depending on the method. The seasonal cycle of events is statistically indistinguishable across definitions, with a common peak in January. However, the multidecadal variability is method dependent, with only two definitions displaying minimum frequencies in the 1990s. An analysis of the mean signatures of SSWs in the stratosphere revealed negligible differences among methods compared to the large case-to-case variability within a given definition.

The stronger and more coherent tropospheric signals before and after SSWs are associated with major events, which are detected by most methods. The tropospheric signals of minor SSWs are less robust, representing the largest source of discrepancy across definitions. Therefore, to obtain robust results, future studies on stratosphere–troposphere coupling should aim to minimize the detection of minor warmings.

Full access
David Barriopedro
,
Célia M. Gouveia
,
Ricardo M. Trigo
, and
Lin Wang

Abstract

Several provinces of China experienced an intense drought episode during 2009 and 2010. The drought was particularly severe in southwestern and northern China, where the accumulated precipitation from May 2009 to April 2010 was about 25% less than normal. The decline of accumulated precipitation over northern China was mostly noticeable during the summer season of 2009 and it was comparable to recent dry episodes. The southwestern China drought resulted from a sequence of dry months from summer 2009 to winter 2010, corresponding to the driest event since at least 1951. The suppression of rainfall in summer over both regions was in agreement with a weakened broad-scale South Asian summer monsoon, possibly influenced by an El Niño developing phase, whereas the extremely negative phases of the Arctic Oscillation during the winter of 2010 may have contributed to the persistence of the drought in southwestern China. The assessment of the associated impacts indicates that water reservoirs were severely affected with a ~20% reduction in the nationwide hydroelectrical production during the drought event. Furthermore, an analysis of the normalized difference vegetation index data reveals that large cropland sectors of northern and eastern China experienced up to 8 months of persistently stressed vegetation between May 2009 and July 2010, while southwestern China was relatively less affected. Such different regional vegetative responses are interpreted in terms of the land-cover type, agriculture management, and their dependence on seasonal precipitation and water availability for irrigation.

Full access
Javier Mellado-Cano
,
David Barriopedro
,
Ricardo García-Herrera
,
Ricardo M. Trigo
, and
Armand Hernández

Abstract

Recent studies have stressed the key role of the east Atlantic (EA) pattern and its interactions with the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) in Euro-Atlantic climate variability. However, instrumental records of these leading patterns of variability are short, hampering a proper characterization of the atmospheric circulation beyond the mid-nineteenth century. In this work, we present the longest (1685–2014) observational-based records of winter NAO and EA indices as well as estimates of the North Atlantic eddy-driven jet stream speed and latitude for the same period. The time series display large variability from interannual to multidecadal time scales, with, for example, positive (negative) EA (NAO) phases dominating before 1750 (during much of the nineteenth century). By identifying winters with different combinations of NAO/EA phases in the twentieth century, our results highlight the additional role of EA in shaping the North Atlantic action centers and the European climate responses to NAO. The EA interference with the NAO signal is stronger in precipitation than in temperature and affects areas with strong responses to NAO such as Greenland and the western Mediterranean, which prevents simplistic relationships of natural proxies with NAO. The last three centuries uncover multidecadal periods dominated by specific NAO/EA states and substantial interannual-to-centennial variability in the North Atlantic jet stream, thus providing new evidence of the dynamics behind some outstanding periods. Transitions in the NAO/EA phase space have been recurrent and pin down long-lasting anomalies, such as the displacement of the North Atlantic action centers in the late twentieth century, besides some disagreements between NAO indices.

Full access
Javier Mellado-Cano
,
David Barriopedro
,
Ricardo García-Herrera
,
Ricardo M. Trigo
, and
Mari Carmen Álvarez-Castro

Abstract

This paper presents observational evidence of the atmospheric circulation during the Late Maunder Minimum (LMM, 1685–1715) based on daily wind direction observations from ships in the English Channel. Four wind directional indices and 8-point wind roses are derived at monthly scales to characterize the LMM. The results indicate that the LMM was characterized by a pronounced meridional circulation and a marked reduction in the frequency of westerly days all year round, as compared to the present (1981–2010). The winter circulation contributed the most to the cold conditions. Nevertheless, findings indicate that the LMM in Europe was more heterogeneous than previously thought, displaying contrasting spatial patterns in both circulation and temperature, as well as large decadal variability. In particular, there was an increase of northerly winds favoring colder winters in the first half of the LMM, but enhanced southerlies contributing to milder conditions in the second half of the LMM. The analysis of the atmospheric circulation yields a new and complete classification of LMM winters. The temperature inferred from the atmospheric circulation confirms the majority of extremely cold winters well documented in the literature, while uncovering other less documented cold and mild winters. The results also suggest a nonstationarity of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) pattern within the LMM, with extremely cold winters being driven by negative phases of a “high zonal” NAO pattern and “low zonal” NAO patterns dominating during moderately cold winters.

Full access
Pedro M. Sousa
,
David Barriopedro
,
Ricardo García-Herrera
,
Tim Woollings
, and
Ricardo M. Trigo

Abstract

Blocks are high-impact atmospheric systems of the mid-/high latitudes and have been widely addressed in meteorological and climatological studies. However, the diversity of blocking definitions makes comparison across studies not straightforward. Here, we propose a conceptual model for the life cycle of high pressure systems that recognizes the multifaceted and transient characteristics of these events. A detection scheme identifies and classifies daily structures, discriminating between subtropical ridges and different types of well-established blocking patterns (omega and dipole-like Rex). This is complemented by a spatiotemporal tracking algorithm, which accounts for transitions between patterns, providing a global catalog of events for 1950–2020. Criteria rely on simple metrics retrieved from one single-level field, and allow implementation in different datasets and climatic realms. Using reanalysis data, we provide illustrative examples, the first global and seasonal climatological assessment of the diversity of high pressure events, their associated impacts, and recent frequency changes. Results reveal that ridge and blocking events affect widespread regions from the subtropics to high latitudes. We find remarkably distinct regional impacts among the considered types, which had been hindered in previous studies by restricted focus on Rex-like structures. This plethora of high pressure systems is much less evident in the Southern Hemisphere, where activity is dominated by subtropical ridges and secluded blocking-like patterns. We report increasing frequencies of low-latitude systems, although with hemispheric and seasonal differences that can only be partially interpreted as a consequence of subtropical expansion. Blocking frequency trends exhibit more heterogeneous and complex spatial patterns, with no evidence of generalized significant changes.

Full access