Theoretical and Applied Climatology

, Volume 133, Issue 3–4, pp 1249–1268 | Cite as

Comparison of extreme precipitation characteristics between the Ore Mountains and the Vosges Mountains (Europe)

  • Jana MinářováEmail author
  • Miloslav Müller
  • Alain Clappier
  • Marek Kašpar
Original Paper


Understanding the characteristics of extreme precipitation events (EPEs) not only helps in mitigating the hazards associated with it but will also reduce the risks by improved planning based on the detailed information, and provide basis for better engineering decisions which can withstand the recurring and likely more frequent events predicted in future in the context of global climate change. In this study, extremity, temporal and spatial characteristics, and synoptic situation of the 54 EPEs that occurred during 1960–2013 were compared between two low mountain ranges situated in Central Europe: the Ore Mountains (OM) and Vosges Mountains (VG). The EPEs were defined using the Weather Extremity Index, which quantifies the extremity, duration, and spatial extent of events. Comparative analysis of EPE characteristics showed that in both regions the EPEs were mostly short (lasted 1–2 days) and their seasonal occurrence significantly depended on the synoptic situation and duration of EPEs; the low was related to summer short EPEs, while zonal circulation to winter long EPEs. The EPEs were generally related to lows in OM and to troughs in VG. The lows often moved to OM from the Mediterranean area, i.e. along the Vb track. However, five EPEs in VG occurred during a low with Vb track significantly deflected westwards. The EPEs in VG affected smaller area as compared to that in OM. The comparison of EPEs between the two low mountain ranges is first of its kind and contributes to the understanding of EPE characteristics in the regions.



We thank Météo-France, DWD (Deutscher Wetterdienst), and CHMI (Czech Hydrometeorological Survey) for provided precipitation data, and NCEP/NCAR re-analysed gridded data of synoptic variables. We extend great thanks to the BGF (French Government scholarship) and DBU (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt), and project CRREAT (reg. number: CZ.02.1.01/0.0/0.0/15_003/0000481) call number 02_15_003 of the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education for financially supporting the research for 15 and 6 months, respectively. We also thank M.Phil. Syed Muntazir Abbas for his valuable remarks during the revision of the manuscript and the language corrections.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory Image, City, EnvironmentNational Centre for Scientific Research & University of Strasbourg (3 rue de l’Argonne, F-67000, Strasbourg)StrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles University in Prague (Albertov 6, 128 43 Praha 2)PragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Institute of Atmospheric PhysicsAcademy of Sciences of the Czech Republic (Boční II 1401, 141 31 Praha 4)PragueCzech Republic

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