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Original Research Papers

Accessing extremes of mid-latitudinal wave activity: methodology and application

Authors:

R. Vitolo ,

PASEF – Physics and Applied Statistics of Earth Fluids, Dipartimento di Matematica ed Informatica, Università di Camerino, Via Madonna delle Carceri – 62032 Camerino (MC), IT; School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, University of Exeter, Harrison building, North Park Road, Exeter, EX4 4QF, US
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P. M. Ruti,

ENEA, via Anguillarese 301 – 00060 S. Maria di Galeria, Roma, SP 091, IT
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A. Dell’Aquila,

ENEA, via Anguillarese 301 – 00060 S. Maria di Galeria, Roma, SP 091, IT
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M. Felici,

PASEF – Physics and Applied Statistics of Earth Fluids, Dipartimento di Matematica ed Informatica, Università di Camerino, Via Madonna delle Carceri – 62032 Camerino (MC); Dipartimento di Matematica U. Dini, Università di Firenze, viale Morgagni 67/A – 50134 Firenze, IT
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V. Lucarini,

Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Bologna, viale Berti Pichat 6/2 – 40126 Bologna, IT
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A. Speranza

PASEF – Physics and Applied Statistics of Earth Fluids, Dipartimento di Matematica ed Informatica, Università di Camerino, Via Madonna delle Carceri – 62032 Camerino (MC), IT
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Abstract

A statistical methodology is proposed and tested for the analysis of extreme values of atmospheric wave activity at mid-latitudes. The adopted methods are the classical block-maximum and peak over threshold, respectively based on the generalized extreme value (GEV) distribution and the generalized Pareto distribution (GPD). Time-series of the ‘Wave Activity Index’ (WAI) and the ‘Baroclinic Activity Index’ (BAI) are computed from simulations of the General Circulation Model ECHAM4.6, which is run under perpetual January conditions. Both the GEV and the GPD analyses indicate that the extremes ofWAI and BAI areWeibull distributed, this corresponds to distributions with an upper bound. However, a remarkably large variability is found in the tails of such distributions; distinct simulations carried out under the same experimental setup provide sensibly different estimates of the 200-yr WAI return level. The consequences of this phenomenon in applications of the methodology to climate change studies are discussed. The atmospheric configurations characteristic of the maxima and minima of WAI and BAI are also examined.

How to Cite: Vitolo, R., Ruti, P.M., Dell’Aquila, A., Felici, M., Lucarini, V. and Speranza, A., 2009. Accessing extremes of mid-latitudinal wave activity: methodology and application. Tellus A: Dynamic Meteorology and Oceanography, 61(1), pp.35–49. DOI: http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0870.2007.00375.x
  Published on 01 Jan 2009
 Accepted on 18 Sep 2008            Submitted on 30 Sep 2007

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