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12th Plinious Conference on Mediterranean Storms MedCLIVAR session, Corfu, September 3, 2010

Long term changes of precipitation in Greece

Christos Zerefos, K. Philandras, C. Douvis, I. Kapsomenakis, G. Tselioudis, K. Eleftheratos Academy of Athens; University of Athens, Greece

summer rainfall is close to zero. The rainy season begins in October. dry conditions associated with a strong high-pressure ridge which extends eastwards from the Azores subtropical high to the Mediterranean. and indeed over most of the region. the rainy season continues until May where the summer dry regime is established. the Mediterranean climate is characterized by winter rainfall which exceeds three times the summer rainfall totals. Winter is characterized by cyclonic disturbances and low mean pressure in the Mediterranean. This strong winter/summer rainfall contrast is associated with a well pronounced seasonal cycle with summertime warm. In March and April. jet streams) begin to move northward from their southernmost winter positions. The axis of ridge is displaced southward over Egypt by a trough which extends from the Persian Gulf area north-westwards towards Greece and which is associated with the Indian summer monsoon depression. as the main features of the upper flow (e. with higher pressure to the east associated with the Siberian high.Introduction According to the Koppen definition.g. . associated with a change in the mean-wave pattern of the upper westerlies and an upper air flow which is characterized by a trough over Europe.

Regions of cyclogenesis and principal cyclone tracks .

bringing moist air into the Mediterranean . bringing moist air to the northern Europe A weak Icelandic low and a weak subtropical high result in fewer and weaker winter storms crossing on a more west-east pathway.Positive NAO phase Negative NAO phase An enhanced Icelandic low and an enhanced subtropical high result in more and stronger winter storms crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a more northerly track.

29 -0.21 .25 -0.49 -0.39 -0.64 -0.45 -0.11 -0.42 -0.60 -0.66 -0.74 -0.Correlation with NAO index Precipitation (mm/day) Global Precipitation Climatology Project data 1980-2009 Lisbon Madrid Valencia Toulouse Marseille Nice Genoa Milan Rome Trieste Naples Malta Bari Ioannina Naxos Antalya Nicosia Adana -0.18 -0.60 -0.67 -0.31 -0.49 -0.62 -0.

Aegean .+ records since 1900 • records since 1950 Stations with recovered precipitation data in Greece 11 stations in W. Greece 9 stations in E. Greece 9 stations in E.

Pyrgos 9. Aegean 1. Greece 9 stations in E. 1930-1943. 1949-2008 1951-2008 1899-1940. Greece 1.W. Larissa 4. Hania E. Mytilini 4. 1936-40. Kalamata 11. 1951-2001 1899-1941. 1950-2008 1915-1940. Naxos 6. Greece 9 stations in E. Athens 7. Thira 7. Araxos 7. Arta 4. Kozani 2. Kerkyra 2. 1947-2004 Table of Stations with recovered precipitation data in Greece 1951-2001 1915-2008 1898-2008 1951-2008 1907-1997 1891-2008 1898-1940. Argostoli 5. Agrinio 6. Methoni 10. 1951-2003 1951-2001 1951-2001 1901-2008 1951-1998 1951-2008 1894-1940. Limnos 3. Rodos 1887-1940. 1937-1940. 1952-2008 1951-2008 1897-1940. Hraklio 8. Alexandroup 2. Kythira E. Samos 5. Zakynthos 8. Skyros 5. Ioannina 3. Sitia 9. Greece 1. Tripolis 8. 1947-2007 1915-1940. Aliartos 6. Milos 9. 1957-2001 1899-1930. 1955-2008 1961-1999 1910-1942. 1947-2001 1951-2008 11 stations in W. 1948-2008 1915-1926. Aegean . 1949-2008 1951-2008 1951-2008 1915-1931. Thessaloniki 3.

NAO index 4 2 0 Correlation between precipitation in Greece and NAO -2 1600 -4 1400 (OCT-APR) PRECIPITATION (mm) 1200 W. level) 600 200 E. level) 200 1880 1900 1920 1940 1960 1980 2000 .19 ( 90% conf. Greece 1000 800 r = -0.Greece 600 400 r = -0.21 ( 95% conf.Aegean 400 r = -0.38 ( >99% conf. level) E.

13 -0. Aegean .11 -0.06 -0.01 -0.11 -0. Greece E.08 -0.13 Nobs 115 77 86 92 50 50 108 106 79 92 112 90 118 101 95 Confidence level >99% >99% >99% 99% 95% 99% 95% − − 99% − − − 99% − E.43 -0.28 -0. Greece Table of correlations between precipitation and NAO Alexandroupoli Limnos Mytilini Samos Naxos Iraklio Sitia W.33 -0.37 -0.16 0.01 -0. Greece W.29 -0. Aegean -0.30 -0. Greece E.36 -0.28 -0.Stations Kerkyra Ioannina Arta Argostoli Agrinio Araxos Zakynthos Kalamata Hania Thessaloniki Larissa Aliartos Athens Tripolis Kythira Correlation with NAO -0.21 -0.38 -0.46 -0.19 -0.19 58 58 80 58 98 92 78 116 118 94 95% − 90% 95% − − − >99% 95% 90% E.14 -0.19 -0.30 -0.

and respective linear trends. the total occurrence of intense Mediterranean cyclones (light curve. of the total amount of precipitation in the Northern Mediterranean basin (bold curve. right axis).. left axis). . right axis) for the October to March period (from Trigo et al.Time series. and of non intense cyclones (dotted curve. 2000).

Western and Central Macedonia (WCM) Eastern Macedonia-Thrace (EMT) North Aegean (ΝA) Cyclades (CΥ) Eastern Aegean (EA) Dodecanese (D) Crete (C) Central and Eastern Greece (CEG) Eastern Peloponnese (ΕP) Western Greece (WG) Ionian S (I) ea Western Peloponnese (WP) Greece (Gr) .

Greece E. Greece .W.

Greece E.W. Greece .

Greece .W. Greece E.

Observed and calculated NAO and precipitation changes NAO changes Greece rainfall changes (%) Mediterranean rainfall changes Precipitation changes (%) relative to 1961-90 NAO changes Past Reference period Future .

Conclusions • The longest precipitation series in Greece show generally negative trends in the past one hundred years or so. . the interannual variability of precipitation is significantly correlated both interannually and in the long term with the variability of NAO. • There is indication that in western Greece. which is on the lee side of the mountains. • An ENSEMBLE of models show the negative trends in precipitation to continue through the 21st century and a number of GCMs show a continuation of positive trends of NAO in the coming decades.