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Trends in storminess over the Netherlands, 1962-2002

A Smits, AMG Klein Tank, GP Können

Trends in the annual number of independent wind events over the Netherlands are studied for the period 1962–2002. The events are selected out of 13 hourly 10 m wind speed records that are part of a high quality dataset of near-surface wind observations at Dutch meteorological stations. Comparisons are made with trends in independent wind events selected from geostrophic wind speed records and reanalysis data.

The results for moderate wind events (that occur on average 10 times per year) and strong wind events (that occur on average twice a year) indicate a decrease in storminess over the Netherlands between 5 and 10%/decade. This result is inconsistent with National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research or European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts reanalysis data, which suggest increased storminess during the same 41 year period.

Possible explanations are given for the discrepancy between the trends in storminess based on station data and the trends in storminess based on reanalysis data. Evaluation of trends in geostrophic wind, both from station data and reanalysis data, and evaluation of trends in vector-averaged (upscaled) 10 m wind over the Netherlands point towards inhomogeneities in the reanalysis data as the main cause of the discrepancy. We conclude that it is likely that the decrease in storminess observed in Dutch station records of near-surface wind in the past four decades is closer to reality than the increase suggested by the reanalysis data.

Bibliografische gegevens

A Smits, AMG Klein Tank, GP Können. Trends in storminess over the Netherlands, 1962-2002
published, Int. J. Climatology, 2005

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