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CR 16:169-179 (2001)  -  doi:10.3354/cr016169

Interannual winter temperature variability in the north of the Iberian Peninsula

J. Sáenz1,*, J. Zubillaga2, C. Rodríguez-Puebla3

1Depto. de Física Aplicada II and
2Depto. de Física de la Materia Condensada, Universidad del País Vasco, 46080 Bilbao, Spain
3Depto. de Física de la Atmósfera, Universidad de Salamanca, 37008 Salamanca, Spain

ABSTRACT: This work analyses the interannual variability of winter temperature in the north of the Iberian Peninsula. This area exhibits a different behaviour to the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, according to the loading factors of the leading empirical orthogonal function of Iberian winter temperature and precipitation. The regional time series is defined by means of principal components analysis (PCA) as a data reduction tool. The only significant eigenvalue can be related to synoptic causes. It is linked, for signals with a period lower than 10 yr, to the East-Atlantic teleconnection pattern. It does not show any significant correlation to the North Atlanic Oscillation (NAO) or Arctic Oscillation (AO), which are the major factors controlling temperature over European or Iberian areas. This result agrees with previously published works and can be explained on the basis of enthalpy transport density vectors and geopotential anomaly over the area. Eddy terms do not play a significant role in this relationship. The link of the interannual variability of temperature in the area with the Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) is also analysed, but SSTs do not show any significant predictive skill, and the statistically significant relationship does not seem to be causal.

KEY WORDS: Cantabrian · Iberian · Winter · Temperature · Variability

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