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Sunshine duration and its variability in the main ridge of the Karkonosze Mountains in relation to with atmospheric circulation

Urban, Grzegorz, Migała, Krzysztof, Pawliczek, Piotr
Theoretical and applied climatology 2018 v.131 no.3-4 pp. 1173-1189
North Atlantic Oscillation, advection, altitude, mountains, solar radiation, winter, Poland
Sunshine duration analysis was based on a series of measurements spanning the period from 1901 to 2014 for Śnieżka (1603 m a.s.l.) and from 1961 to 2000 for Szrenica (1362 m a.s.l.). The average annual sunshine duration (SD) on Śnieżka is 1423.0 h, which is among the lowest values in Poland. On average, the main ridge of the Karkonosze range receives 31% of potential sunshine duration in annual terms: from 25% in December to 36% in August and May. The changes in sunshine duration recorded on Śnieżka point to the existence of two cycles: a short one of approx. 2–4 years and a long one of approx. 60 years. The former most probably reflects the rhythm of atmospheric circulation in the North Atlantic (North Atlantic Oscillation), while the latter reflects the impact of ocean circulation associated with the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) mechanism. Annual SD totals for the years 1901–2014 exhibit a slight trend to an increase of approx. 2.5 h/10 years, and the rate of increase during the winter quarter is many times higher than during the other seasons. Average monthly sunshine duration differences between Śnieżka and Szrenica are positive for all months of the year with the average monthly difference being 10 to 11 h. This means that the average radiation conditions on Śnieżka are more favourable than the main ridge of the Karkonosze range, which lies at an altitude 200 to 250 m lower. Average daily sunshine durations recorded on Śnieżka are only shorter than those on Szrenica for macro-types of atmospheric circulation with advection from the south.