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Influence of solar variability on the occurrence of Central European weather types from 1763 to 2009

Type of publication Not peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (non peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2017
Author Schwander Mikhaël, Rohrer Marco, Brönnimann Stefan, Malik Abdul,
Project Future and Past Solar Influence on the Terrestrial Climate II
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Original article (non peer-reviewed)

Journal Climate of the Past Discussions
Page(s) 1 - 25
Title of proceedings Climate of the Past Discussions
DOI 10.5194/cp-2017-8

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


The impact of solar variability on weather and climate in Central Europe is still not well understood. In this paper we use a new time series of daily weather types to analyse the influence of the 11-year solar cycle on the tropospheric weather of Central Europe. We employ a novel, daily weather type classification over the period 1763–2009 and investigate the occurrence frequency of weather types under low, moderate and high solar activity level. Results show a tendency towards fewer days with westerly and west south-westerly flow over Central Europe under low solar activity. In parallel, the occurrence of northerly and easterly types increases. Changes are consistent across different sub-periods. For the 1958–2009 period, a more detailed view can be gained from reanalysis data. Mean sea level pressure composites under low solar activity also show a reduced zonal flow, with an increase of the mean blocking frequency between Iceland and Scandinavia. Weather types and reanalysis data show that the 11-year solar cycle influences the late winter atmospheric circulation over Central Europe with colder (warmer) conditions under low (high) solar activity. Model simulations used for a comparison do not reproduce the imprint of the 11-year solar cycle found in the reanalyses data.