Tuesday, 11 February 2003
Analysis of rainfall rates for West Africa using satellite observations and the NCEP RSM
This study will use the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) Regional Spectral Model (RSM) to perform simulations of precipitation rates for West Africa for the rainy seasons of 1998-2002. Previous research has indicated that gauge analyses, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission precipitation radar (TRMM PR), TRMM Merged, Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP), Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) Precipitation Index (GPI) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) data differ in the rainfall rates and occurrence of maximum rainfall estimated for the rainy seasons of 1998-2000. The results of the RSM simulations will be compared to the precipitation data obtained from the gauge analyses, TRMM PR, TRMM Merged, GPCP, GPI and SSM/I. A preliminary analysis will be conducted to assess the contribution of model physics (radiative parameterization and land surface treatment) to inconsistencies in this comparison and how possible approaches such as satellite data assimilation may improve the treatment. Improvements in the treatment of precipitation will determine if the model would be a valuable tool for seasonal prediction of precipitation in West Africa and other tropical regions.