89th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting

Sunday, 11 January 2009
Statistical Analysis of the Correlations between the Sea Surface Temperatures and the West African Monsoon Precipitation in Western Sahel, Central Sahel, and Guinea Coast Regions
Phoenix Convention Center
Anastasia G. Yanchilina, Creighton University, Omaha, NE; and D. J. M. Schrage
West Africa has experienced considerable interannual and interdecadal climate variability, with drought dominating most of the last three decades and a trend towards increased precipitation in recent years. The climatic conditions in these marginal climate zones have important implications for human populations, including food security, public health, and fresh water management. Correlation analysis has identified regions of strong relationship between precipitation indices in the three homogeneous spatial regions and SSTs in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Foremost, warmer SST anomalies in the Guinea Gulf (10W-10E, 0-5N ) correlate with precipitation in the Western and Central Sahel climatic regions with a coefficient of 0.5 as demonstrated but inversely correlate with precipitation in the Guinea Coast climatic region with a coefficient of -0.4. Furthermore, warmer SSTs in the tropical Indian Ocean negatively correlate with precipitation in the Guinea Coast, Western Sahel, and Central Sahel climatic regions as shown with a coefficient of -0.3 for the former and -0.5 for the latter two regions. Results presented identify whether these correlations are a consequence of annual or decadal variations.

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