89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Sunday, 11 January 2009
The AMO and Sahel rainfall - strong potential for seasonal forecasting of droughts
Phoenix Convention Center
Amin K. Dezfuli, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Multi-century records of both the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) and Sahel rainfall suggest that the AMO exerts considerable influence on rainfall variability. The influence is also evident on annual time scales. In this paper, the forecast potential of the AMO is examined using linear correlation and conditional probabilities in comparative analyses of anomaly signs. The results show very strong relationships that indicate excellent forecast potential at lags up to six months or longer. These results also demonstrate that the lag-correlations are more significant than simultaneous one. The forecast potential can be of crucial value in drought risk management over the region. The link between the AMO and Sahel rainfall, although statistically determined, is physically based on linkages between rainfall variability, cross-equatorial pressure gradients, and circulation features over West Africa.

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