Interannual variability of rainfall in the Guinean Coast region and its links with sea surface temperature changes over the twentieth century for the different seasons

Worou, Koffi ; Goosse, Hugues ; Fichefet, Thierry ; Guichard, Françoise ; Diakhate, Moussa

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<p align=justify>The summer Guinean Coast (GC) rainfall (GCR) displays a strong variability on different timescales that are driven by Sea Surface Temperature (SST) variations and amplified by land-atmosphere processes. However, the relationships between the GCR and SST modes of variability in the pre-monsoon (March-May, MAM), post-monsoon (October-November, ON) and Harmattan (December-February, DJF) seasons are not well known nor understood. Using observational dataset covering the twentieth century, we extend the conclusion obtained in previous studies that mainly analyzed the summer period (June-September, JJAS) by considering changes in SST-rainfall linkages throughout the year. We show that, in boreal winter, SST interannual variability in the tropical basins are anticorrelated with the GCR. The South Atlantic Ocean Dipole (SAOD) and the Atlantic Niño (ATL3) appear, however, as major drivers of the pre-monsoon and monsoon GCR. In MAM, both modes are in opposite phases with the GCR. Below normal SST in the tropical South Atlantic in MAM leads to a surface divergence south of the equator, and the resulting southerlies bring moist air into coastal Guinea, increasing rainfall. During JJAS, ATL3 and SAOD are in phase with the GCR. During ON, the eastern Mediterranean Sea anomalous warming strengthens the Saharan Heat Low, whose extension in the tropical North Atlantic enhances the low-level westerly Jet. This jet transports moisture into GC. The stationarity of the correlations between the GCR and SST indices has also been assessed, and the strongest and most stationary links are obtained during the monsoon season.</p>
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