Corrections of systematic errors, data homogenisation and climatic analysis of the Padova pressure series (1725-1999)

Dario Camuffo, Claudio Cocheo, Giovanni Sturaro

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A short history of the series with daily observations of barometric pressure in Padova (since 1725) is made, with special reference to the types of barometers used, their locations, the types of corrections (which were only partial in the early period), the calibrations and the comparison with primary instruments. The paper also describes the homogenisation of the series and the procedures used to fill the small gaps. The Padova series was compared with previously well investigated series from the ADVICE and IMPROVE projects and especially with the nearby Milan series in order to check its reliability. Trend analysis shows an increase in pressure (some 1 hPa) during the last a hundred year. This trend is a common feature for Northern Italy. An effect of the increased air pressure is a local lowering of the Northern Mediterranean Sea level by 1 cm. The part of the year mostly affected by this increase is from late spring to August and corresponds to an extension of the hot season, characterised by an earlier start, and longer duration of the Azores Anticyclone. This reduces the penetration of the Atlantic disturbances in the Northern Mediterranean and the precipitation associated with the passage of fronts. This change is associated with an increase in thermoconvective activity with thunderstorms and heavy precipitation. This explains why, in the last decades, the annual total amount of precipitation is slightly decreased and at the same time the frequency of intense rainfall is increased. Moreover, a comparison of the day-to-day pressure variability with the Western Mediterranean Oscillation (WeMO) indicates a significant positive correlation during the late autumn-early winter period. An increase of the WeMO index means a strengthening of the baric dipole from Azores to Northern Italy, that could be explained by a deepening of the cyclonic circulation over northern Italy from November to January.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-514
Number of pages22
JournalClimatic Change
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Global and Planetary Change

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