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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 14, issue 6 | Copyright

Special issue: Advances in meteorological hazards and extreme events

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1531-1542, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 18 Jun 2014

Research article | 18 Jun 2014

Seasonal predictability of the 2010 Russian heat wave

P. Katsafados1, A. Papadopoulos2, G. Varlas1, E. Papadopoulou1, and E. Mavromatidis1 P. Katsafados et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, Harokopio University of Athens, 70 El. Venizelou Str., P.O. Box 17671, Athens, Greece
  • 2Institute of Marine Biological Resources and Inland Waters, Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, P.O. Box 712, 19013, Anavyssos Attikis, Greece

Abstract. The atmospheric blocking over eastern Europe and western Russia that prevailed during July and August of 2010 led to the development of a devastating Russian heat wave. Therefore the question of whether the event was predictable or not is highly important. The principal aim of this study is to examine the predictability of this high-impact atmospheric event on a seasonal timescale. To this end, a set of dynamical seasonal simulations have been carried out using an atmospheric global circulation model (AGCM). The impact of various model initializations on the predictability of this large-scale event and its sensitivity to the initial conditions has been also investigated. The ensemble seasonal simulations are based on a modified version of the lagged-average forecast method using different lead-time initializations of the model. The results indicated that only a few individual members reproduced the main features of the blocking system 3 months ahead. Most members missed the phase space and the propagation of the system, setting limitations in the predictability of the event.

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