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Circulation anomalies associated with winter temperature extremes in Athens during the period 1900–2004

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We use the long series of temperature observed at the National Observatory of Athens, Greece, to examine the extremes of this element together with associated anomalies in the general circulation of the atmosphere. The 13 extreme-cold and 20 extreme-warm winters during the period 1900–2004 (equal to or below minus one standard deviation, and equal to or above plus one standard deviation respectively) had opposite pressure anomalies, mainly over the North Atlantic and Eurasia. The temperature extremes at Athens were representative of most of the Mediterranean and the Balkans, and their associated pressure anomalies were robust. The extremes of the Index of the North Atlantic Oscillation (the pressure difference between Gibraltar and Iceland) were not a good indicator of the temperature extremes in the Mediterranean. Rather the extreme temperature anomalies over the Mediterranean region are to a large extent controlled by a bipolar pattern of SLP (see level pressure) anomalies with centers over the British Isles and the Arctic.

Extremwerte in Langzeitbeobachtungen der Temperatur am Nationalen Observatorium Athen wurden auf ihren Zusammenhang mit Anomalien der allgemeinen Zirkulation untersucht. Die 13 kältesten und 20 wärmsten Winter (definiert als Überschreitungen mindestens einer Standardabweichung) im Zeitraum 1900–2004 offenbarten gegensätzliche Luftdruckanomalien vor allem über dem Nordatlantik-und Eurasien. Die Temperaturextreme in Athen waren repräsentativ für große Bereiche des Mittelmeergebiets und der Balkanhalbinsel; und die damit verbundenen Druckanomalien waren konsistent für unterschiedliche Teilzeiträume. Die Extrema der Nordatlantischen Oszillation (Druckdifferenz zwischen Gibraltar und Island) waren hingegen nicht mit Extremwerten der Wintertemperatur im Mittelmeergebiet korreliert. Vielmehr scheinen diese durch eine bipolare Bodendruckanomalie mit Zentren über der Arktis und den Britischen Inseln gesteuert zu werden.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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