Articles | Volume 12, issue 13
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 5755–5771, 2012
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 5755–5771, 2012

Review article 03 Jul 2012

Review article | 03 Jul 2012

Assessing large-scale weekly cycles in meteorological variables: a review

A. Sanchez-Lorenzo1, P. Laux2, H.-J. Hendricks Franssen3, J. Calbó4, S. Vogl2,5, A. K. Georgoulias6, and J. Quaas7 A. Sanchez-Lorenzo et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science (IAC), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH Zürich), Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research (IMK-IFU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 3Agrosphere Institute (IBG-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany
  • 4Departament de Física, Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain
  • 5Institute for Geography, Regional Climate and Hydrology, University of Augsburg, Augsburg, Germany
  • 6Laboratory of Atmospheric Pollution and Pollution Control Engineering of Atmospheric Pollutants, Department of Environmental Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, Greece
  • 7Institute for Meteorology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Abstract. Several studies have claimed to have found significant weekly cycles of meteorological variables appearing over large domains, which can hardly be related to urban effects exclusively. Nevertheless, there is still an ongoing scientific debate whether these large-scale weekly cycles exist or not, and some other studies fail to reproduce them with statistical significance. In addition to the lack of the positive proof for the existence of these cycles, their possible physical explanations have been controversially discussed during the last years. In this work we review the main results about this topic published during the recent two decades, including a summary of the existence or non-existence of significant weekly weather cycles across different regions of the world, mainly over the US, Europe and Asia. In addition, some shortcomings of common statistical methods for analyzing weekly cycles are listed. Finally, a brief summary of supposed causes of the weekly cycles, focusing on the aerosol-cloud-radiation interactions and their impact on meteorological variables as a result of the weekly cycles of anthropogenic activities, and possible directions for future research, is presented.

Final-revised paper