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Interannual Variability of Rainfall over the West Africa Sahel

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Document pages: 17 pages

Abstract: Interannual variability of the precipitation over West Africa Sahel is analyzed based on 32 years (1979-2010) from monthly and daily database of the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP). In this region, we found that there is a link between the West Africa Monsoon (WAM) and the daily means of the precipitation in the summer, unseasonal rains can occur in the transition seasons and even in the heart of the dry season. Rainfall is the most important element for agro-pastoral activities in this region. The 850-hPa wind and wind divergence structure show a maximum convection over Mountain region (Fouta-Djalon and Mont-Cameroon) which corresponds to the high precipitation and OLR observed in these regions. The trend and empirical orthogonal function (EOF) of the precipitation are presented, including the mid-July variability of the precipitation. The dominant EOF of GPCP precipitation accounts for around 25.3 of the variance with slightly large amplitude in the north while relatively small in the equatorial band respectively. The second and third EOF which accounts for 20.5 and 14 , describes a longitudinal contrast with a zonal gradient.

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