New insights into North European and North Atlantic surface pressure variability, storminess and related climate change since 1830

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Hanna, E.
Cappelen, J.
Allan, R. J.
Jonsson, T.
Le Blanq, F.
Lillington, T.
Hickey, Kieran R.
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American Meteorological Society
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The authors present initial results of a new pan-European and international storminess since 1800 as interpreted from European and North Atlantic barometric pressure variability (SENABAR) project. This first stage analyzes results of a new daily pressure variability index, dp(abs)24, from long-running meteorological stations in Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, some with data from as far back as the 1830s. It is shown that dp(abs)24 is significantly related to wind speed and is therefore a good measure of Atlantic and Northwest European storminess and climatic variations. The authors investigate the temporal and spatial consistency of dp(abs)24, the connection between annual and seasonal dp(abs)24 and the North Atlantic Oscillation Index (NAOI), as well as dp(abs)24 links with historical storm records. The results show periods of relatively high dp(abs)24 and enhanced storminess around 1900 and the early to mid-1990s, and a relatively quiescent period from about 1930 to the early 1960s, in keeping with earlier studies. There is little evidence that the mid- to late nineteenth century was less stormy than the present, and there is no sign of a sustained enhanced storminess signal associated with “global warming.” The results mark the first step of a project intending to improve on earlier work by linking barometric pressure data from a wide network of stations with new gridded pressure and reanalysis datasets, GCMs, and the NAOI. This work aims to provide much improved spatial and temporal coverage of changes in European, Atlantic, and global storminess.
Europe , NE Atlantic , Barometric pressure , Storminess , Climate change , North Atlantic Ocean , Climate variability
HANNA, E., CAPPELEN, J., ALLAN, R., JÓNSSON, T., BLANCQ, F. L., LILLINGTON, T. & HICKEY, K. 2008. New Insights into North European and North Atlantic Surface Pressure Variability, Storminess, and Related Climatic Change since 1830. Journal of Climate, 21, 6739-6766.
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