The Hilbert transform is a well-known tool of time series analysis that has been widely used to investigate oscillatory signals that resemble a noisy periodic oscillation, because it allows instantaneous phase and frequency to be estimated, which in turn uncovers interesting properties of the underlying process that generates the signal. Here we use this tool to analyze atmospheric data: we consider daily-averaged Surface Air Temperature (SAT) time series recorded over a regular grid of locations covering the Earth’s surface. From each SAT time series, we calculate the instantaneous frequency time series by considering the Hilbert analytic signal. The properties of the obtained frequency data set are investigated by plotting the map of the average frequency and the map of the standard deviation of the frequency fluctuations. The average frequency map reveals well-defined large-scale structures: in the extra-tropics, the average frequency in general corresponds to the expected one-year period of solar forcing, while in the tropics, a different behaviour is found, with particular regions having a faster average frequency. In the standard deviation map, large-scale structures are also found, which tend to be located over regions of strong annual precipitation. Our results demonstrate that Hilbert analysis of SAT time-series uncovers meaningful information, and is therefore a promising tool for the study of other climatological variables.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited