Publication details

The variability of maximum wind gusts in the Czech Republic between 1961 and 2014

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Year of publication 2017
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source International Journal of Climatology
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Field Atmosphere sciences, meteorology
Keywords maximum wind gust; wind measurement; homogenisation; spatial variability; temporal variability; Kyrill windstorm; Emma windstorm; Czech Republic
Description This contribution employs instrumental records to analyse the temporal and spatial variability of monthly, seasonal and annual maximum wind gusts (MWGs) in the Czech Republic. The development of an observation network capable of measuring wind gusts, the possible technical weaknesses of wind measurements and problems with establishing homogeneity in wind-gust data are described. For the 1961–2014 period, quality-checked data from 19 synoptic stations of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute throughout the territory of the Czech Republic are examined, divided into three altitudinal groups. In terms of the spatial variability of MWGs, correlation coefficients between stations decreasemore strongly in relation to station distance rather than altitude. Spatial correlations are better expressed (by higher correlation coefficients) in the winter half-year than in the summer half-year. Linear trends in monthly, seasonal and annual MWGs for the 19 synoptic stations, for their three altitudinal groups, and for the entire Czech Republic show statistically significant decreases (deepest in November and autumn), with the exception of spring (for stations above 300 m) and summer. The 10 highest MWG events of all are selected. The spatial distribution of wind gusts for two prominent windstorms, Kyrill (18–19 January 2007) and Emma (1–2 March 2008), are presented. Changes in MWGs series are compared with fluctuations in atmospheric circulation responding to the North Atlantic Oscillation. Decreasing MWG trends are discussed with respect to diminishing storminess and surface wind speeds (wind stilling) recorded during recent decades in Europe, as well as over other continents.
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