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West African Monsoon Project

Objective



Objectives:
The aim of this project is to increase our understanding
of the processes involved in the evolution of the West
African monsoon with special emphasis on interannual
variability of rainfall, scale interactions and tropical
land-based convection.
Brief Description of the Research Project:
The West African Monsoon (WAM) exhibits extremely marked
rainfall variability on both interannual and decadel
timescales sometimes resulting in severe drought. There
is an urgent need for seasonal predictions of rainfall in
this region.
The WAM consists of many interacting scales. General
Circulation Models (GCMs) used to make seasonal and
climate predictions generally have a poor representation
of many of these scale interactions and in particular
those involving the rain-producing weather systems such
as easterly waves and squall lines. It is unclear whether
we can have confidence in a GCM prediction of rainfall if
the GCM cannot represent these systems. Our
understanding of tropical land-based convection also
needs to be developed in this context.
WAMP will utilise a hierarchy of models to examine
rainfall and the weather systems that produce that
rainfall. A multi-scale approach will be used with models
ranging from coarse resolution GCMs to high resolution
CRMs (Cloud Resolving Models). Intermediate scales will
be investigated with limited area models and nested
models with cloud resolving capabilities.
Alongside these modelling studies will be a comprehensive
analysis of available observational datasets as well as
reanalysis datasets.
The main results from this project will include: A Multiscale analysis based on
observations, reanalyses and model integrations of the
WAM seasonal cycle and WAM interannual variability, An
assessment of the roles of SSTs and land-surface
processes on interannual variability of the WAM,
Identification of inadequacies in the state-of-the-art
representation of tropical land-based convection and
recommended improvements and A recommendation of the
appropriate horizontal and vertical resolution needed to
represent various aspects of WAM variability in numerical
models with a special recommendation for climate and
seasonal prediction.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF READING
Address
Earley Gate 2, Whiteknights, Palmer Building
RG6 2AU Reading / Silchester
United Kingdom

Participants (9)

CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Ecole Polytechnique
91128 Palaiseau
CENTRE NATIONAL DE LA RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE
France
Address
Avenue Gustave Coriolis 42, C.n.r. Mtttorologique
31057 Toulouse
European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasts - ECMWF
United Kingdom
Address
Shinfield Park
RG2 9AX Reading
Institut Français de Recherche Scientifique pour le Développement en Coopération - ORSTOM
France
Address
911,Avenue Agropolis
34032 Montpellier
MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT ZUR FOERDERUNG DER WISSENSCHAFTEN E.V.
Germany
Address
Bundesstra¯e 55
20146 Hamburg
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR DEFENCE - MINISTRY OF DEFENCE
United Kingdom
Address
Fitzroy Road, Metz Office
EX1 3PB Exeter
UNIVERSITAET KOELN
Germany
Address
Zuelpicher Str. 49
50674 Koeln
UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS
United Kingdom
Address
.,Woodhouse Lane
LS2 9JT Leeds
UNIVERSITY OF READING
United Kingdom
Address
3 Early Gate
RG6 6AL Reading / Silchester