Western Iberian winter wind indices based on significant wind events
E. Mason1, A. M. P. Santos1, and Á J. Peliz21Instituto de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar, Av. Brasília, 1449-006 Lisboa, Portugal 2Departamento de Física, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
Received: 07 Mar 2005 – Discussion started: 11 Apr 2005
Abstract. Wind speed data obtained from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Reanalysis project are used to construct winter (November–March) wind indices for the western Iberian Peninsula. The data used represent a 2.5° square area, centred at 41.0° N, 9.4° W, over the period 1948-2003. The NCEP data are well correlated with a time-series (1980–2001) of wind measurements from the Cape Carvoeiro lighthouse on the western Portuguese coast (39.4° N, 9.4° W). The new indices, of which there are four corresponding to northerlies, easterlies, southerlies and westerlies, constitute measures of numbers of significant wind event days, where a significant wind event is defined to be 4 or more consecutive days of wind speeds exceeding 4 m s-1. Results show both intra- and inter-annual variations in the numbers of significant wind event days, as well as clear decadal trends. A comparison between a hybrid index, composed of the numbers of significant northerly and easterly wind event days - both promote offshore transport, which is thought to have a negative impact on pelagic fish recruitment - and western Iberian sardine catch data, reveal an extensive period of significant negative correlation. The relationship over the most recent period, ~1999–2000, is unclear.
Mason, E., Santos, A. M. P., and Peliz, Á. J.: Western Iberian winter wind indices based on significant wind events, Ocean Sci. Discuss., 2, 105-127, doi:10.5194/osd-2-105-2005, 2005.