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Volume 2018, Article ID 3140915, 8 pages
Research Article

Recent Trends in the Recurrence of North Atlantic Atmospheric Circulation Patterns

1Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, UMR 8212 CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, IPSL & U Paris-Saclay, CE l’Orme des Merisiers, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
2Centre National de Recherches Météorologiques, UMR 3589 CNRS-Météo-France, 42 avenue G. Coriolis, 31057 Toulouse, France

Correspondence should be addressed to Pascal Yiou; rf.lspi.ecsl@uoiy.lacsap

Received 8 August 2017; Revised 7 December 2017; Accepted 11 January 2018; Published 12 February 2018

Academic Editor: Daniela Paolotti

Copyright © 2018 Pascal Yiou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A few types of extreme climate events in the North Atlantic region, such as heatwaves, cold spells, or high cumulated precipitation, are connected to the recurrence of atmospheric circulation patterns. Understanding those extreme events requires assessing long-term trends of the atmospheric circulation. This paper presents a set of diagnostics of the intra- and interannual recurrence of atmospheric patterns. Those diagnostics are devised to detect trends in the stability of the circulation and the return period of atmospheric patterns. We detect significant emerging trends in the winter circulation, pointing towards a potential increased predictability. No such signal seems to emerge in the summer. We find that the winter trends in the dominating atmospheric patterns and their recurrences do not depend of the patterns themselves.