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New Study of Storm Generation Could Improve Rainfall Prediction in West Africa

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2011)

New Study of Storm Generation Could Improve Rainfall Prediction in West Africa

ScienceDaily (June 13, 2011)

A new study of how storms are generated could improve rainfall prediction in dry regions of Africa, where drought and short growing seasons are common.

A team of scientists from the UK, France and Australia used satellite observations of the Sahel region of West Africa to demonstrate that brief changes in soil moisture over areas of just tens of kilometres can affect storm generation. The results are published online in Nature Geoscience on 12 June 2011.

The monsoon can arrive abruptly in the Sahel and the relative timing of planting and the starts of the wet season can mean the difference between a good crop and no crop at all. Better predictive modelling could make a huge difference to the people for whom the rains can be a matter of life or death.

The researchers used high-resolution satellite images — taken every 15 minutes at a scale of a few kilometres — to study storm generation on every day of the 2006-2010 wet seasons. They analysed 3765 storms across a region of around 2.5 million km, to see how often, when and where convection (cloud formation) was triggered.

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

Page publiée le 18 novembre 2011, mise à jour le 2 août 2014