EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Extreme wind projections over Europe from the Euro-CORDEX regional climate models

Stefan Sobolowski1,3 and Stephen Outten2,3
Stefan Sobolowski and Stephen Outten
  • 1NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS, Bergen, Norway (
  • 2Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre, Bergen, Norway (
  • 3The Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, Bergen, Norway

Extreme weather events represent one of the most visible and immediate hazards to society. Many of these types
of phenomena are projected to increase in intensity, duration or frequency as the climate warms. Of these extreme winds are
among the most damaging historically over Europe yet assessments of their future changes remain fraught with uncertainty.
This uncertainty arises due to both the rare nature of extreme wind events and the fact that most model are unable to faithfully
represent them. Here we take advantage of a 15 member ensemble of high resolution Euro-CORDEX simulations (12km)
and investigate projected changes in extreme winds using a peaks-over-threshold approach. Additionally we show that - de-
spite lingering model deficiencies and inadequate observational coverage - there is clear added value of the higher resolution
simulations over coarser resolution counterparts. Further, the spatial heterogeneity and highly localized nature is well captured.
Effects such as orographic interactions, drag due to urban areas, and even individual storm tracks over the oceans are clearly
visible. As such future changes also exhibit strong spatial heterogeneity. These results emphasise the need for careful case-by-
case treatment of extreme wind analysis, especially when done in a climate adaptation or decision making context. However,
for more general assessments the picture is more clear with increases in the return period (i.e. more frequent) extreme episodes
projected for Northern, Central and Southern Europe throughout the 21st century. While models continue to improve in their
representation of extreme winds, improved observational coverage is desperately needed to obtain more robust assessments of
extreme winds over Europe and elsewhere.

How to cite: Sobolowski, S. and Outten, S.: Extreme wind projections over Europe from the Euro-CORDEX regional climate models, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-6015,, 2022.


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