"Precipitation sensitivity to regional SST in a regional climate simulation during the West African Monsoon for two dry years"
Earth and related Environmental sciences
surface Temperature (SST)
West African monsoon
African Easterly Jet
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The influence on precipitation of regional sea surface temperature (SST) during a drought period of the West African monsoon is determined, using a regional climate model (RCM). The results from three simulations of two realistic dry years are compared. The first two experiments are initialised and nested respectively in 1983 and 1984 reanalysis data sets. The third experiment is a hybrid simulation of 1983 which is the same as the first experiment except that the SST field is the 1984 SST. Precipitation from the RCM is compared with several precipitation data sets and, as in observations, the RCM reasonably simulates the West African monsoon (seasonal cycle and monsoon sub-period) for the two different years. In particular, the model reproduces stage by stage the motion of the monsoon band well: installation phase, high rain period with abrupt northward shift of the rain band, and the retreat southward phase. Interannual variability and wet or dry tendencies are also represented. The most significant effect of SST is shown by the hybrid simulation, when the regional SST appears as a major factor in the seasonal and interannual monsoon precipitation regime over the African continent (up to 12°N) although this influence is modulated both by the surface conditions (soil and vegetation) and by the reanalysis flow introduced at the lateral boundaries. Dynamically, a warmer SST leads to a decrease in the magnitude of the African Easterly Jet and an increase in northward equivalent water content transport (from equator to 12°N)
CitationMessager, C.; Gallée, H.; Brasseur, O. (2004). "Precipitation sensitivity to regional SST in a regional climate simulation during the West African Monsoon for two dry years". , Issue Climate Dynamics, 22, pp. 249-266, IRM,