Large-scale atmospheric dynamics of the wet winter 2009–2010 and its impact on hydrology in Portugal

Article English OPEN
Andrade, C. ; Santos, J. A. ; Pinto, Joaquim G ; Corte-Real, J. (2011)

The anomalously wet winter of 2010 had a very important impact on the Portuguese hydrological system. Owing to the detrimental effects of reduced precipitation in Portugal on the environmental and socio-economic systems, the 2010 winter was predominantly beneficial by reversing the accumulated precipitation deficits during the previous hydrological years. The recorded anomalously high precipitation amounts have contributed to an overall increase in river runoffs and dam recharges in the 4 major river basins. In synoptic terms, the winter 2010 was characterised by an anomalously strong westerly flow component over the North Atlantic that triggered high precipitation amounts. A dynamically coherent enhancement in the frequencies of mid-latitude cyclones close to Portugal, also accompanied by significant increases in the occurrence of cyclonic, south and south-westerly circulation weather types, are noteworthy. Furthermore, the prevalence of the strong negative phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) also emphasises the main dynamical features of the 2010 winter. A comparison of the hydrological and atmospheric conditions between the 2010 winter and the previous 2 anomalously wet winters (1996 and 2001) was also carried out to isolate not only their similarities, but also their contrasting conditions, highlighting the limitations of estimating winter precipitation amounts in Portugal using solely the NAO phase as a predictor.
  • References (5)

    Int J Climatol 13:655-663 Kistler R, Kalnay E, Collins W, Saha S and others (2001) The NCEP/NCAR 50-year reanalysis: monthly-means CDROM and documentation. Bull Am Meteorol Soc 82: 247-267 Klein Tank AMG, Wijngaard JB, Können GP, Böhm R and others (2002) Daily dataset of 20th-century surface air temperature and precipitation series for the European Climate Assessment. Int J Climatol 22:1441-1453 Lamb HH (1972) British Isles weather types and a register of the daily sequence of circulation patterns, 1861-1971.

    Geophys Meml 116. HMSO, London Murray RJ, Simmonds I (1991) A numerical scheme for tracking cyclone centres from digital data. Part I: development and operation of the scheme. Aust Meteorol Mag 39: 155-166 Paredes D, Trigo RM, García-Herrera R, Trigo IF (2006) Understanding precipitation changes in Iberia in early spring: weather typing and storm-tracking approaches.

    J Hydrometeorol 7:101-113 Pereira J, Correia AV, Correia AP, Branco M and others (2002) Forests and biodiversity. In: Santos FD, Forbes K, Moita R, (eds) Climate change in Portugal: scenarios, impacts and adaptation measures. SIAM project. Gradiva, Lisbon, p 363-414 Pinto JG, Spangehl T, Ulbrich U, Speth P (2005) Sensitivities of a cyclone detection and tracking algorithm: individual tracks and climatology. Meteorol Z 14:823-838 Pinto JG, Ulbrich U, Leckebusch GC, Spangehl T, Reyers M, Zacharias S (2007) Changes in storm track and cyclone activity in three SRES ensemble experiments with the ECHAM5/MPI-OM1 GCM. Clim Dyn 29:195-210 Sáenz J, Zubillaga J, Rodríguez-Puebla C (2001) Interannual variability of winter precipitation in northern Iberian Peninsula. Int J Climatol 21:1503-1513 Santos JA, Corte-Real J, Leite SM (2005) Weather regimes and their connection to the winter rainfall in Portugal. Int J Climatol 25:33-50 Santos J, Corte-Real J, Leite S (2007a) Atmospheric largescale dynamics during the 2004-2005 winter drought in Portugal. Int J Climatol 27:571-586 Santos J, Corte-Real J, Ulbrich U, Palutikof J (2007b) European winter precipitation extremes and surface largescale circulation: a coupled model and its scenarios. Theor Appl Climatol 87:85-102 Santos JA, Pinto JG, Ulbrich U (2009a) On the development of strong ridge episodes over the eastern North Atlantic.

    Geophys Res Lett 36:L17804. doi:10.1029/2009GL039086 Santos J, Andrade C, Corte-Real J, Leite S (2009b) The role of large-scale eddies in the occurrence of winter precipitation deficits in Portugal. Int J Climatol 29:1493-1507 Simmonds I, Murray RJ, Leighton RM (1999) A refinement of cyclone tracking methods with data from FROST. Aust Met Mag (Spec Edn) 1999:35-49 Thompson DWJ, Wallace JM (1998) The Artic Oscillation signature in the wintertime geopotential height and temperature fields. Geophys Res Lett 25:1297-1300 Trigo RM, DaCamara C (2000) Circulation weather types and their influence on the precipitation regime in Portugal. Int J Climatol 20:1559-1581 Trigo RM, Pozo-Vázquez D, Osborn TJ, Castro-Díez Y, GámizFortis S, Esteban-Parra MJ (2004) North Atlantic Oscillation influence on precipitation, river flow and water resources in the Iberian Peninsula. Int J Climatol 24:925-944 Editorial responsibility: Bryson Bates, Wembley, Australia Turc L (1954) Le bilan d'eau des sols: relations entre les precipitations, l'évaporation et l'écoulement. Ann Agron 4: 491-595 Ulbrich U, Christoph M, Pinto JG, Corte-Real J (1999) Dependence of winter precipitation over Portugal on NAO and baroclinic wave activity. Int J Climatol 19:379-390 Ulbrich U, Brücher T, Fink AH, Leckebusch GC, Krüger A, Pinto JG (2003) The Central European floods in August 2002. Part I: rainfall periods and flood development.

    Weather 58:371-377 Vicente-Serrano SM (2006a) Differences in spatial patterns of drought on different time scales: an analysis of the Iberian Peninsula. Water Resour Manag 20:37-60 Vicente-Serrano SM (2006b) Spatial and temporal analysis of droughts in the Iberian Peninsula (1910-2000). Hydrol Sci J 51:83-97 Xoplaki E, Gonzalez-Rouco FJ, Luterbacher J, Wanner H (2004) Wet season Mediterranean precipitation variability: influence of large-scale dynamics. Clim Dyn 23:63-78 Zorita E, Kharin V, von Storch H (1992) The atmospheric circulation and sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic area in winter: their interaction and relevance for Iberian precipitation. J Clim 5:1097-1108

  • Metrics
    0
    views in OpenAIRE
    0
    views in local repository
    30
    downloads in local repository

    The information is available from the following content providers:

    From Number Of Views Number Of Downloads
    Central Archive at the University of Reading - IRUS-UK 0 30
Share - Bookmark