Predictability of Euro-Russian blocking in summer of 2010

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Abstract

[1] Eastern Europe and Western Russia experienced a strong heat wave during the summer of 2010. Maximum temperatures exceeded 40°C in early August, resulting in over 15,000 deaths and many wildfires, inflicting large economic losses on Russia. The heat wave resulted from strong atmospheric blocking that persisted over the Euro-Russian region from late June to early August. This study investigates the predictabilities of extreme Euro-Russian blocking and of the blocking-induced extreme surface temperatures in the summer of 2010, using medium-range ensemble forecasts. The results show that the blocking in June–August (JJA) of 2010 was easily predictable, even for a lead time of +216 hr; however, the blocking that occurred from 30th July to 9th August showed a lower predictability in forecasts over +144 hr compared with other blocking occurrences in JJA of 2010. This low predictability resulted in the failure to predict the extreme temperatures associated with the mature blocking in early August. Most of the forecasts predicted a decay of the blocking earlier than that observed.

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