Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 43-61.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1363-y

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Genetic climatic regionalization of the Balkan Peninsula using cluster analysis

NOJAROV Peter()   

  1. National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Akad. G. Bonchev Str., Bl.3, Room 327, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Received:2015-01-27 Accepted:2016-01-30 Online:2017-02-10 Published:2017-02-10
  • About author:

    Author: Peter Nojarov, PhD and Professor, E-mail:


Sea Level Pressure (SLP) data for the period 1950-2012 at 61 stations located in or around the Balkan Peninsula was used. The main concept is that intra-annual course of SLP represents the best different air masses that are situated over the Balkan Peninsula during the year. The method for differentiation of climatic zones is cluster analysis. A hierarchical clustering technique-average linkage between groups with Pearson correlation for measurement of intervals was employed in the research. The climate of the Balkan Peninsula is transitional between oceanic and continental and also between subtropical and temperate climates. Several major changes in atmospheric circulation over the Balkan Peninsula have happened over the period 1950-2012. There is a serious increase of the influence of the Azores High in the period January-March, which leads to an increase of SLP and enhances oceanic influence. There is an increase of the influence of the north-west extension of the monsoonal low in the period June-September. This leads to more continental climate, but also to more tropical air masses over the Balkan Peninsula. Accordingly, the extent of subtropical climate widens in northern direction. There is an increase of the influence of the Siberian High in the period October-December. This influence covers central and eastern part of the peninsula in October and November, and it reaches western parts in December. Thus, the climate becomes more continental.

Key words: genetic classification,, regionalization, Balkan Peninsula, cluster analysis, Sea Level Pressure, circulation indices