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Journal Article: BibTeX citation key:  Sanogo2015
Sanogo, S., Fink, A. H., Omotosho, J. A., Ba, A., Redl, R. & Ermert, V. (2015) Spatio-temporal characteristics of the recent rainfall recovery in West Africa. IN International Journal of Climatology, .
Added by: Andreas Fink 2015-08-24 18:27:43
Categories: Monsoon system and its variability
Keywords: Sahel, Satellites, Seasonal cycle, Semi-arid
Creators: Ba, Ermert, Fink, Omotosho, Redl, Sanogo
Collection: International Journal of Climatology

Peer reviewed
Number of views:  617
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Using daily (monthly) rainfall data from 167 (254) stations across West Africa with at least 80% data availability for the 31-year period 1980–2010 and the gridded African Rainfall Climatology Version 2 (ARC2) for the period 1983–2010, linear trends in yearly and monthly rainfall totals were investigated. Measures of the Expert Team on Climate Change Detection and Indices (ETCCDI) and two rainy season onset and retreat definitions were employed to assess the corresponding trends in frequency and intensity of daily rainfall and changes to monsoon season length. A rotated Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis yielded two homogeneous rainfall regions, the Sahel and Guinea Coast, in terms of interannual to decadal rainfall variability, and this led to analysis of station data and Standardised Precipitation Index for the two regions. Results show that the majority of stations in the Sahel between the West Coast and 15°E shows a statistically significant positive rainfall trend for annual totals. The August–October period exhibits the largest rainfall recovery in the Sahel and the date of the retreat of the rainy season significantly moved later into the year by 2 days decade−1. The recovery is reflected both in more rainy days associated with longer wet spell duration and more extreme rainfall events. Trends along the Guinea Coast are weak and non-significant except for extreme rainfall related indices. This missing significance is partly related to the hiatus in rainfall increase in the 1990s, but also to the larger interannual rainfall variability. However, the tendency towards a more intense second rainy season suggests a later withdrawal of rains from the West African subcontinent. ARC2 trends are broadly consistent where ground calibration was undertaken, but are dubious for Nigeria and Ghana, and especially for the Guinea, Jos and Cameroon Line highlands due to missing gauge data.
Added by: Andreas Fink