Circulation weather types as a tool in atmospheric, climate, and environmental research

Alexandre M. Ramos, David Barriopedro, Emanuel Dutra
Front. Environ. Sci., 3:44.

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Classifications of circulation weather systems have a long history in meteorology and climatology. Starting with manual classifications (Hess and Brezowsky, 1952; Lamb, 1972) over specific regions of the globe, these tools (generally called “catalogs of synoptic types”) were restricted mainly to weather forecasting and historical climate studies. In the last decades, the advance of computing resources and the availability of datasets have fostered the development of fast and objective methods that process large amounts of data. Many climatological studies and applications require these data to be as simplified as possible; this is often achieved by analyzing gridded datasets (usually sea level pressure or geopotential height at different levels), and grouping the data into a relatively small number of distinct categories. Since these types are based on meteorological fields observed at a specific instant, they are also called Eulerian classifications.