Recent Precipitation Trends in Hungary in the Context of Larger Scale Climatic Changes

Author: Domonkos, P.

Source: Natural Hazards, Volume 29, Number 2, June 2003 , pp. 255-271(17)

Publisher: Springer

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Abstract:



The time series of monthly precipitation totals from 14 Hungarian observing stations (1901–1998) were analysed to reveal the long term changes in precipitation characteristics occurred in the 20th century. A particular attention was given to the changes in the recent decades and their links with the larger scale climatic and circulation changes over Europe and the Atlantic.

The statistical significances of systematic changes are controlled by linear trend analysis and the Mann–Kendall test. The long term fluctuations are illustrated applying a 15-point Gaussian filter on the time series. The Standardised Precipitation Index is used to evaluate the changes in the drought event frequency. The relationships with larger scale changes are mostly discussed relying on contemporary papers, and the Grosswetterlagen Catalogue is used as well.

The annual precipitation total decreased by 15–20% in Hungary during the 20th century. The decline is substantial in both halves of the century, but the precipitation sums in the transition seasons declined in the first 50 years, and the winter precipitation decreased in the latest decades. The precipitation total of the period November–February declined significantly in the last 50 years. In the same time the mean winter value of the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI) increased, the positions of the main pressure patterns over the Atlantic are shifted northeastward, and lot of other coherent changes detected in the winter climate of the European–Atlantic region. The mean summer precipitation total has hardly changed, but the frequency of summer drought events increased. There are some signs of a shift of the Hungarian summer climate towards a Mediterranean like climate.

Keywords: Hungary; North Atlantic Oscillation; SPI; drought; precipitation–circulation relationship; time series analysis; trend

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: h-1155 Budapest, Vasvári P. u. 5, Hungary

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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