14 Nov 2022
14 Nov 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Central European wind and precipitation compound events are not just due to winter storms

Miloslav Müller1,2, Marek Kašpar1, and Vojtěch Bližňák1 Miloslav Müller et al.
  • 1The Czech Academy of Sciences, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Bočni II 1401, Prague, 141 00, Czechia
  • 2Charles University, Faculty of Science, Albertov 6, Prague 128 00, Czechia

Abstract. Unlike other studies on wind-precipitation compound events, station data was employed from all seasons 1961–2020 to analyze the frequency and seasonal distribution of these events in Central Europe. The spatial pattern of the annual frequency is mainly determined by the cold half-years when the frequency generally decreases with increasing longitude (due to the decreasing effect of extratropical cyclones), but it also increases with increasing altitude (probably due to the orographic precipitation enhancement effected by strong winds). Nevertheless, wind-precipitation compound events are also generated by convective storms mainly in summer, when compound events are more equally distributed in Central Europe, with generally higher frequencies in lowlands. Five types of weather stations were distinguished according to the seasonal distribution of wind-precipitation compound events, with the percentage of summer events as the main criterion. Mostly winter type dominates in the west, mostly autumn type at the coast of the North Sea, mixed type in north-east Germany, mostly summer type in central part of Germany, and summer type in eastern part of Czechia and in south-east Austria. We also demonstrate on selected examples that compound events frequently occur at a station only in the season when both abnormal winds and abnormal precipitation events appear and are related to the same circulation conditions. This is the reason why wind-precipitation compound events are very rare at some stations, mainly in the highlands in the eastern part of the study region. We also discuss the role of the threshold for selecting wind-precipitation compound events and prove that the higher their frequency is at a station, the higher the percentage of stronger events among them. This finding highlights wind-precipitation compound events as a significant natural hazard mainly in exposed areas.

Miloslav Müller et al.

Status: open (until 27 Dec 2022)

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Miloslav Müller et al.

Miloslav Müller et al.


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Short summary
Unlike other studies on wind-precipitation compound events, we used station data from all seasons and found a rather complex distribution of such events within Central Europe. Their frequency is maximal in the cold half-years at mountain stations in the west, because strong winds and heavy precipitation are associated with the same circulation pattern there. Towards the east, warm half-year compound events associated with thunderstorms start to predominate mainly in lowlands.