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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 1940456, 14 pages
Research Article

West Africa Extreme Rainfall Events and Large-Scale Ocean Surface and Atmospheric Conditions in the Tropical Atlantic

1Laboratory of Atmospheric Physics and Fluid Mechanics, University FHB of Cocody-Abidjan, 22 BP 582, Abidjan 22, Côte d’Ivoire
2Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët Boigny de Yamoussoukro, BP 1093, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Received 6 April 2016; Revised 11 June 2016; Accepted 26 June 2016

Academic Editor: Anthony R. Lupo

Copyright © 2016 S. Ta et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Based on daily precipitation from the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) data during April–October of the 1997–2014 period, the daily extreme rainfall trends and variability over West Africa are characterized using 90th-percentile threshold at each grid point. The contribution of the extreme rainfall amount reaches ~50–90% in the northern region while it is ~30–50% in the south. The yearly cumulated extreme rainfall amount indicates significant and negative trends in the 6°N–12°N; 6°N–12°N; 17°W–10°W and 4°N–7°N; 4°N–7°N; 6°E–10°E 4°N–7°N; 6°E–10°E 4°N–7°N; 6°E–10°E domains, while the number of days exhibits nonsignificant trends over West Africa. The empirical orthogonal functions performed on the standardized anomalies show four variability modes that include all West Africa with a focus on the Sahelian region, the eastern region including the south of Nigeria, the western part including Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea-Bissau, and finally a small region at the coast of Ghana and Togo. These four modes are influenced differently by the large-scale ocean surface and atmospheric conditions in the tropical Atlantic. The results are applicable in planning the risks associated with these climate hazards, particularly on water resource management and civil defense.