Statistics of extreme synoptic-scale wind speeds in ensemble simulations of current and future climate
Published in J. Climate 17, 4564-4574, doi:10.1175/JCLI-3227.1 in 2004
H. W. van den Brink, G. P. Können, and J. D. Opsteegh
Statistical analysis of the wind speeds, generated by a climate model of intermediate complexity, indicates the existence of areas where the extreme value distribution of extratropical winds is double populated, the second population becoming dominant for return periods of order 103 yr. Meteorological analysis of the second population shows that it is caused when extratropical cyclones merge in an extremely strong westerly jet stream such that conditions are generated that are favorable for occurrence of strong diabatic feedbacks. Doubling of the greenhouse gas concentrations changes the areas of second population and increases its frequency. If these model results apply to the real world, then in the exit areas of the jet stream the extreme wind speed with centennial-to-millennial return periods is considerably larger than extreme value analysis of observational records implies.