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Snow depth in eastern Europe in relation to circulation patterns

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Rotated principal components of the 500 hPa geopotential heights in the Euro-Atlantic sector are used as indicators of circulation pattern intensity. Daily snow-cover depth data for the years 1951–95 from 71 eastern European stations are examined. Maps of linear correlation coefficient between monthly change in snow depth and rotated principal components are presented. The positive and negative extremes of each circulation pattern are analyzed, and positive and negative snow-depth signals indicated. A daily analysis of relationships between snow depth and circulation pattern is performed for three locations. The strongest impact of the atmospheric circulation on changes in snow depth is observed in the south and west of the study area, where the eastern European (EE) and central European circulation patterns are found to have the greatest impact. The North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) impact on the snow depth in eastern Europe is limited to the beginning and the end of winter. Snow cover has low variability in northeastern Europe (where the Scandinavian (SC) pattern is of greatest importance) and low sensitivity to change in the atmospheric circulation. The decrease in snowcover depth observed in spring is related to the NAO, SC and EE patterns, the latter being important for snow-cover depth fluctuations over northeastern Europe in April.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2008

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  • The Annals of Glaciology is a peer-reviewed, thematic journal published 2 to 4 times a year by the International Glaciological Society (IGS). Publication frequency is determined and volume/issue numbers assigned by the IGS Council on a year-to-year basis and with a lead time of 3 to 4 years. The Annals of Glaciology is included in the ISI Science Citation Index from volume 50, number 50 onwards.

    Themes can be on any aspect of the study of snow and ice. Individual members can make a suggestion for a theme for an Annals issue to the Secretary General, who will forward it to the IGS Publications Committee. The IGS Publication Committee will make a recommendation for an individual themed Annals issue, together with a potential Annals Chief Editor for that issue, to IGS Council. The IGS Council will make the decision whether to proceed, taking into account the spread of topics and the overall capacity for publication of pages in Annals.

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