Long-term changes of precipitation in Latvia

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

This study investigated long-term variability and trends in Latvia's annual, seasonal, monthly and daily precipitation using data from 10 meteorological stations for the period 1925–2006 and from station Riga University for the period 1850–2006. The obtained results indicate that during the 20th century a significant increase in precipitation has occurred in the cold season while the warm period showed a decreasing tendency. The annual precipitation totals showed a slight decrease, at half of the studied stations, due to opposite tendencies in cold season and warm season. The long-term trend in the annual precipitation in Riga (from 1850) was positive with large interannual and interdecadal variability. The extreme precipitation events were evaluated using a set of nine climate change indices. Of these, number of wet days, 1-day and 5-days maximum precipitation, moderate wet days and very wet days showed a well pronounced positive tendency in the cold period of the year particularly in winter. No overall long-term trend was detected in extreme precipitation in summer. As in the case of 150-year precipitation pattern, extreme precipitation exhibited cyclic fluctuations that were more pronounced than linear changes. The close correlation between North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) and extreme precipitation was found for winter season.

Keywords: Latvia, long-term changes, precipitation indices, series homogeneity

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