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Towards a more comprehensive assessment of the intensity of historical European heat waves (1979–2019)

Becker, Florian N. 1; Fink, Andreas H. 1; Bissolli, Peter; Pinto, Joaquim G. 1
1 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Forschungsbereich Troposphäre (IMK-TRO), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Europe has been affected by record-breaking heat waves in recent decades. Using station data and a gridded reanalysis as input, four commonly used heat wave indices, the heat wave magnitude index daily (HWMId), excess heat factor (EHF), wet-bulb globe temperature (WBGT) and universal thermal climate index (UTCI), are computed. The extremeness of historical European heat waves between 1979 and 2019 using the four indices and different metrics is ranked. A normalisation to enable the comparison between the four indices is introduced. Additionally, a method to quantify the influence of the input parameters on heat wave magnitude is introduced. The spatio-temporal behaviour of heat waves is assessed by spatial–temporal tracking. The areal extent, large-scale intensity and duration are visualized using bubble plots. As expected, temperature explains the largest variance in all indices, but humidity is nearly as important in WBGT and wind speed plays a substantial role in UTCI. While the 2010 Russian heat wave is by far the most extreme event in duration and intensity in all normalized indices, the 2018 heat wave was comparable in size for EHF, WBGT and UTCI. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000149080
Veröffentlicht am 27.07.2022
DOI: 10.1002/asl.1120
Zitationen: 7
Web of Science
Zitationen: 6
Zitationen: 13
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Forschungsbereich Troposphäre (IMK-TRO)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 11.2022
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1530-261X
KITopen-ID: 1000149080
HGF-Programm 12.11.33 (POF IV, LK 01) Regional Climate and Hydrological Cycle
Erschienen in Atmospheric Science Letters
Verlag Wiley Open Access
Band 23
Heft 11
Seiten Art.-Nr.: e1120
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 04.07.2022
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