European rainfall patterns


  • R. G. Vines

    1. CSIRO Division of Forest Research, Canberra, Australia
    Current affiliation:
    1. c/CSIRO Division of Chemical and Wood Technology, Private Bag 10, Clayton, 3168, Victoria, Australia
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This analysis suggests substantial coherence of rainfall data from Northern Europe, in a region from England to eastern Germany. Within this entire area, there appears to be a long-term fluctuation in rainfall with a period of about 16 years. Further south, from Switzerland into northern Italy, a different long-term fluctuation of about 20-22 years is evident, which exhibits a possible relationship with the double sunspot cycle. Both rainfall variations are out of phase with corresponding fluctuations in North America, which have been reported previously.

Other quasi-periodic fluctuations in precipitation of 10-12 years (medium term) and 6-7 years (short term) are observed in the same parts of Europe. Comparisons are made between these systematic temporal rainfall variations and those similarly found in both the northern and southern hemispheres.