In the framework of the COST733 Action “Harmonisation and Applications of Weather Types Classifications for European Regions” a new circulation type classification software (hereafter, referred to as cost733class software) is developed. The cost733class software contains a variety of (European) classification methods and is flexible towards choice of domain of interest, input variables, time step, number of circulation types, sequencing and (weighted) target variables. This work introduces the capabilities of the cost733class software in which the resulting circulation types (CTs) from various circulation type classifications (CTCs) are applied on observed summer surface ozone concentrations in Central Europe. Firstly, the main characteristics of the CTCs in terms of circulation pattern frequencies are addressed using the baseline COST733 catalogue (cat 2.0), at present the latest product of the new cost733class software. In a second step, the probabilistic Brier skill score is used to quantify the explanatory power of all classifications in terms of the maximum 8 hourly mean ozone concentrations exceeding the 120-μg/m3 threshold; this was based on ozone concentrations from 130 Central European mea-
surement stations. Averaged evaluation results over all stations indicate generally higher performance of CTCs with a higher number of types. Within the subset of methodologies with a similar number of types, the results suggest that the use of CTCs based on optimisation algorithms are performing slightly better than those which are based on other algorithms (predefined thresholds, principal component analysis and leader algorithms). The results are further elaborated by exploring additional capabilities of the cost733class software. Sensitivity experiments are performed using different domain sizes, input variables, seasonally based classifications and multiple-day sequencing. As an illustration, CTCs which are also conditioned towards temperature with various weights are derived and tested similarly. All results exploit a physical interpretation by adapting the environment-to-circulation approach, providing more detailed information on specific synoptic conditions prevailing on days with high surface ozone concentrations. This research does not intend to bring forward a favourite classification
methodology or construct a statistical ozone forecasting
tool but should be seen as an introduction to the possibilities of the cost733class software. It this respect, the results presented here can provide a basic user support for the cost733class software and the development of a more user- or application-specific CTC approach.