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Classifications in atmospheric sciences and their applications

Most societal and environmental processes are influenced by weather and climate. In order to understand these effects there is often a need for a “simple” characterization of the current weather situation. This need has increased considerably due to the recognition of importance of global warming and the challenges to study the impact of a climate change on society and environment.

Classifications of weather and circulation patterns are simple, discrete characterisations of the current atmospheric conditions. There exists a wide collection of classification methods, developed for different regions and for different purposes. Many of them are based on automatic, objective, and consistent methods. In recent years, many new classification methods have been introduced; unfortunately, their abundance has not been accompanied by a corresponding thorough verification and intercomparison. It is COST Action 733 “Harmonisation and applications of weather type classifications for European regions” that has made a considerable step in this, so far undervalued direction.