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New data reveals how storms are triggered in the Sahel

ScienceDaily (June 27, 2011)

New data reveals how storms are triggered in the Sahel

ScienceDaily (June 27, 2011)

In the Sahel, the frequency of storms increases when soil moisture varies over a few kilometers. Such contrasts cause air circulation between dry and humid areas, contributing to the development of storms. For the first time, these contrasts have been studied on a small scale. The new data that should help researchers to address the issue of drought in the Sahel.

Initiation of a storm in a semi-desert area in Mali during the monsoon. Credit : © F. Guichard

The Sahel is a semi-arid tropical region where annual rainfall depends on a few dozen storms that form during the monsoon season. The number of storms is therefore crucial in this region of the world, where insufficient precipitation can lead to a year of drought. Intense rainfall during these storms causes marked contrasts with neighboring areas in terms of humidity and temperature. Such contrasts play a role in the stability of the lower layers of the atmosphere.

Story Source

The above story is based on materials provided by CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange).

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

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