Large-Scale Organisation of Extreme Weather over Europe and North America

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2017
End date: 31/12/2020
Funding: 3240000 SEK


Understanding the drivers of extreme weather events and improving their predictability is of crucial societal and economic value. The present project will develop an innovative approach to the problem by analysing and quantifying the role of specific large-scale atmospheric circulation patterns in favouring windstorms and intense precipitation over Europe and cold spells over North America. This will be achieved over four years through an interdisciplinary approach combining observational, modelling and mathematical analyses.

The project will tackle five precise tasks: i) Show that specific large-scale circulation patterns, diagnosed here in terms of planetary wave breaking, can aid the predictability of destructive windstorms and intense precipitation over Europe; ii) Analyse the role of these patterns in favouring the co-occurrence of cold spells over North America and the aforementioned extremes over Europe; iii) Perform idealised simulations to determine the patterns' dynamical drivers, with a focus on atmospheric signals originating in the Pacific; iv) Quantify the low-frequency natural variability of the above atmospheric patterns and relate it to shifts seen in climate change simulations; v) Provide a theoretical framework supporting the results of points i-iv) by performing a novel dynamical systems analysis.

Demonstrating the predictive power of planetary wave breaking would greatly advance our understanding of extreme weather on both sides of the Atlantic.

Last updated on 2017-05-10 at 07:40