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Trends and possible causes of cloudiness variability in Montenegro in the period 1961–2017

Dragan Burić, Gorica Stanojević*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Cloudiness is an important climate parameter, and it is closely related to insolation, temperature, and precipitation. The total cloud cover (TCC) data, the number of cloudless (CL) and overcast (OC) days from 18 stations in Montenegro for the period 1961–2017 were used to determine the seasonal trends and possible causes of cloudiness variability. The Mann-Kendall test and Sen’s slope were used for trend detection. In winter, spring, and summer, mostly statistically significant (p < 0.05 and p < 0.10), decreasing (increasing) trend of TCC (the number of CL days) is found. The exception is the autumn, when an increase (decrease) in the TCC (CL days) is shown, but in most cases, these changes are insignificant. The number of OC days decline in the coastal and central parts, while a positive trend is found in the northern region in all seasons. The increase in the number of CL days during the summer and winter is more pronounced compared to the decreasing trend of the number of OC days. The Pearson correlation (r) is used to access relationship between cloudiness and principal modes of atmospheric variability (NAO, SNAO, AO, EA, EAWR, SCAND, POLEUR, NCP, and SOI) as well as regional patterns of climate variability (MOI-1, MOI-2, and WeMO). The significant consistency (r > 0.60, p < 0.05) is found between time series of certain atmospheric circulation patterns and cloud parameters in Montenegro, especially in the colder half of the year (NAO, AO, EAWR, SCAND, NCP, and MOI-1).