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CR 14:71-73 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/cr014071

Trends of storms in NW Europe derived from an updated pressure data set

Hans Alexandersson1,*, Heikki Tuomenvirta2, Torben Schmith3, Knut Iden4

1Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, 60176 Norrköping, Sweden
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, PO Box 503, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
3Danish Meteorological Institute, Lyngbyvej 100, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
4The Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Postboks 43 Blindern, 0313 Oslo, Norway

ABSTRACT: Within the WASA project (von Storch et al. 1998; Bull Am Meterol Soc 79(5):741-760) an extensive data set containing station pressure values was used to calculate geostrophic winds (Alexandersson et al. 1998; Global Atmos Ocean Syst 6:97-120). Geostrophic winds were analysed in terms of percentiles to give a measure of long-term variations in synoptic-scale storminess. In this paper an update to 1998 is presented. In the Scandinavia, Finland and Baltic Sea area the most recent years, especially the cold and calm year 1996, seem to have brought an end to the stormy period centred on 1990. In the more westerly British Isles, North Sea and Norwegian Sea area, storminess is still at high levels compared with the less intense period between 1930 and 1980. The long-term increasing trend in NW Europe storminess that started in the 1960s seems to have been broken.

KEY WORDS: Geostrophic winds · Storm statistics · Storm trends · Northwestern Europe

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