The unusual wet summer (July) of 2014 in Southern Europe

Satyaban B. Ratna, J.V. Ratnam, Swadhin K. Behera, Annalisa Cherchi, Wanqiu Wang, Toshio Yamagata

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Southern Europe (Italy and the surrounding countries) experienced an unusual wet summer in 2014. The monthly rainfall in July 2014 was 84% above (more than three standard deviation) normal with respect to the 1982–2013 July climatology. The heavy rainfall damaged agriculture, and affected tourism and overall economy of the region. In this study, we tried to understand the physical mechanisms responsible for such abnormal weather by using model and observed datasets. The anomalously high precipitation over Italy is found to be associated with the positive sea surface temperature (SST) and convective anomalies in the tropical Pacific through the atmospheric teleconnection. Rossby wave activity flux at upper levels shows an anomalous tropospheric quasi-stationary Rossby wave from the Pacific with an anomalous cyclonic phase over southern Europe. This anomalous cyclonic circulation is barotropic in nature and seen extending to lower atmospheric levels, weakening the seasonal high and causing heavy precipitation over the Southern Europe. The hypothesis is verified using the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) coupled forecast system model (CFSv2) seasonal forecasts. It is found that two-month lead forecast of CFSv2 was able to capture the wet summer event of 2014 over Southern Europe. The teleconnection pattern from Pacific to Southern Europe was also forecasted realistically by the CFSv2 system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalAtmospheric Research
Early online date26 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017


  • Wet summer
  • Southern Europe
  • Italy
  • Pacific ocean
  • Sea surface temperature
  • Teleconnection

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