We determined the weather type, according to the Jenkinson and Collison procedure, of the 22 646 days in the 1948-2009 period for the western Mediterranean basin. The analysis is based upon the surface pressure values of the NCEP/NCAR reanalysis, for a grid of nine points with extreme vertices at 45º N, 5º W and 35º N, 15º E, which provides a broad synoptic catalogue for this region. We analyzed the trends of the types and their different groupings during the same period. The most frequent type is U (undetermined), with an annual average of approximately 100 days (99.4, 27.2%), followed by type A (anticyclone), with 75.5 days/ year (20.7%), and C (depression), with 67.8 days/year (18.6%). The high frequency of type U is due to the habitual pressure of baric fields with a low gradient over Mediterranean waters in the warm half of the year. According to their directions, the types from the west are the most frequent and those from the south, the least. The monthly regime of the most frequent types and groupings is quite regular; type C groups, as well as advective and cyclonic curvature groups, present summertime minima and maxima in the cold half of the year, whereas the opposite occurs with types U and A. The main statistically significant annual trends in the 1948-2009 period involve a decrease in type A (<br>4.19 days/decade, that is,<br>29.0%) and an increase in type U, the cyclonic types and those presenting an easterly component. On comparing the 31-yr sub-periods 1948-1978 and 1979-2009, the tendencies of A and U were confirmed, and increases can generally be seen in the types presenting an easterly component and a decrease in those with a westerly component. The variation in type A ranged from 2490 days in the first sub-period to 2192 in the second one (p = 0.000), mainly concentrated in summer and autumn. This evident reduction of type A coincides, paradoxically, with an increase in the sea surface pressure variable (+0.31 hPa/decade) throughout the 62 years of analysis. The negative trend found in type A differs from the results of some studies. The different analysis periods, the different scales or areas of study and the variety of methods used to determine the weather types can account for the fact that these results are discordant. Moreover, warming over the last few decades in the waters of the western Mediterranean basin, as well as the clearly cyclogenetic character of the gulfs of Lion and Genoa, might account for the decrease in type A and the increase in the cyclonic curvature types
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