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Keywords:

  • climate extremes;
  • Greater Horn of Africa;
  • climate indices;
  • water storage changes;
  • PRECIS model

ABSTRACT

Recent special reports on climate extremes have shown evidences of changes in the patterns of climate extremes at global, regional and local scales. Understanding the characteristics of climate extremes at regional and local levels is critical not only for the development of preparedness and early warning systems, but is also fundamental in the development of any adaptation strategies. There is still very limited knowledge regarding the past, present and future patterns of climate extremes in the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA). This study, which was supported by the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (WB-GFDRR) and implemented by the World Meteorological Organization, was organized in terms of three workshops with three main objectives; (1) analysis of daily rainfall and temperature extremes for ten countries in the GHA region using observed in situ data running from 1971 to 2006, (2) assessing whether the United Kingdom Met-office and Hadley centre Providing REgional Climates for Impact Studies (UK-PRECIS) modelling system can provide realistic representation of the past and present climate extremes as observed by available in situ data, and (3) studying the future regional climate extremes under different scenarios to further assess the expected changes in climate extremes. This paper, therefore, uses the outputs of these workshops and also includes post-workshop analyses to assess the changes of climate extremes within the GHA. The results showed a significant decrease in total precipitation in wet days greater than 1 mm and increasing warm extremes, particularly at night, while cold extremes are decreasing. Considering a combination of geophysical models and satellite gravimetry observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission in the frame of GRACE daily Kalman-smoothing models, for the years 2002 to 2010, we explored a decline in total water storage variations over the GHA.