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Meteorology of Tropical West Africa: The Forecasters' Handbook

ISBN: 978-1-118-39130-3
496 pages
April 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Meteorology of Tropical West Africa: The Forecasters

Description

Meteorology of tropical West Africa: the Forecasters’ Handbook presents the science and practice of weather forecasting for an important region of the tropics. Connecting basic theory with forecasting practice, the book provides a unique training volume for operational weather forecasters, and is also suitable for students of tropical meteorology.

The West African region contains a number of archetypal climatic zones, meaning that the science of its weather and climate applies to many other tropical regions. West Africa also exhibits some of the world’s most remarkable weather systems, making it an inspiring region for students to investigate.

The weather of West Africa affects human livelihoods on a daily basis, and can contribute to hardship, poverty and mortality. Therefore, the ability to understand and predict the weather has the potential to deliver significant benefits to both society and economies.

The book includes comprehensive background material alongside documentation of weather forecasting methods. Many examples taken from observations of West African weather systems are included and online case-studies are referenced widely.

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Table of Contents

Contributors xiii

Foreword xiv

Preface xv

Acknowledgements xvii

Acronyms xviii

1 Mean Climate and Seasonal Cycle 1

1.1 Introduction 1

1.2 Rainfall and Evaporation Climatologies 3

1.3 Water Vapour and Clouds 12

1.4 Radiation, Dust, Sunshine Duration, Vegetation and Soil Water 14

1.5 Pressure, Temperature, Humidity and Wind at the Surface 18

1.6 Upper Air Wind, Mass and Humidity Fields 22

1.7 Summary Schematics of the January and July West African Monsoon System 33

2 Synoptic Systems 40

2.1 Scientific Background 40

2.2 Operational Methods and Canonical Synoptic Patterns 71

3 Deep Convection 90

3.1 Scientific Background 90

3.2 Operational Methods 115

4 Local Weather 130

4.1 Scientific Background 130

4.2 Operational Methods 160

5 Dust 175

5.1 Scientific Background 175

5.2 Operational Methods 188

6 Nowcasting 204

6.1 Scientific Background 204

6.2 Operational Methods for Nowcasting Severe Weather 221

7 Subseasonal Forecasting 255

7.1 Scientific Background 255

7.2 Operational Methods 277

8 Seasonal Forecasting 289

8.1 Scientific Background 289

8.2 Operational Methods 316

9 Remote Sensing 323

9.1 Scientific Background 323

9.2 Operational Methods 362

9.3 Case Study, Presentations and Other Resources 373

10 Numerical Weather Prediction over Africa 380

10.1 Scientific Background 380

10.2 Operational Numerical Weather Prediction over Africa 397

11 West African Synthetic Analysis and Forecast: WASA/F 423

11.1 Introduction 423

11.2 The intertropical discontinuity/intertropical front, or intertropical boundary in Ghana 425

11.3 The Heat Low or Thermal Depression 426

11.4 The Subtropical Jet 429

11.5 Features Associated with Mid ]latitudes 430

11.6 Mid ]level Dry Air 431

11.7 The Tropical Easterly Jet 431

11.8 The African Easterly Jet 433

11.9 African Easterly Waves and Cyclonic Vortices 435

11.10 The African Monsoon Layer and the Monsoon Trough 441

11.11 Dust or Sand 444

11.12 Convection 444

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