A calendar of the negative and positive phases of the North Sea - Caspian Pattern (NCP) for the period 1958-1998 was used to analyse the implication of the NCP upper level teleconnections on the regional climate of the eastern Mediterranean basin. Series of monthly mean air temperature and monthly total rainfall from 33 stations across Greece, Turkey and Israel, for the same period, were used. For each month, from October to April, averages of the monthly mean temperatures and the monthly rainfall totals as well as the standardized values of both parameters were calculated separately for the negative (NCP( - )) and the positive (NCP ( + )) phases of the NCP. At all stations and in all months, temperature values were significantly higher during the NCP( - ) as compared with the NCP( + ). Furthermore, apart from very few exceptions, the absolute monthly mean maximum and monthly mean minimum values were obtained during the NCP( - ) and the NCP( + ) phases, respectively. The maximum impact of the NCP on mean air temperature was detected in the continental Anatolian Plateau, where the mean seasonal differences are around 3.5°C. This influence decreases westwards and southwards. The influence on the rainfall regime is more complex. Regions exposed to the southern maritime trajectories, in Greece and in Turkey, receive more rainfall during the NCP( - ) phase, whereas in the regions exposed to the northern maritime trajectories, such as Crete in Greece, the Black Sea region in Turkey, and in all regions of Israel, there is more rainfall during the NCP( + ) phase. The accumulated rainfall differences between the two phases are over 50% of the seasonal average for some stations. A comparison of the capabilities of the NCP, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Southern Oscillation (SO) indices to differentiate between below and above normal temperatures was made. The results have placed the NCP, as the best by far of all three teleconnections in its ability to differentiate between below or above normal temperatures and as the main teleconnection affecting the climate of the Balkans, the Anatolian Peninsula and the Middle East. These results may serve to downscale General Circulation Model (GCM) scenarios to a regional scale and provide forecasts regarding eventual temperature and/or precipitation changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atmospheric Science