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Keywords:

  • West African monsoon;
  • intraseasonal variability;
  • monsoon onset;
  • predictability;
  • crop yield

Abstract

The intraseasonal time scale is critical in West Africa where resources are highly rainfall dependent. Three main modes of variability have been identified, two with a mean periodicity of 15 days and one with a mean periodicity around 40 days. These modes have a regional scale and can strongly influence precipitation and convective activity. They are mainly controlled by atmospheric dynamics and land–surface interactions. They can also modulate the very specific phase of the African summer monsoon onset. A better knowledge of the mechanisms controlling this scale is necessary to improve its predictability. Copyright © 2010 Royal Meteorological Society