Impact of improved soil moisture on the ECMWF precipitation forecast in West Africa
Article first published online: 26 OCT 2010
Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume 37, Issue 20, October 2010
How to Cite
2010), Impact of improved soil moisture on the ECMWF precipitation forecast in West Africa, Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L20808, doi:10.1029/2010GL044748., , and (
- Issue published online: 26 OCT 2010
- Article first published online: 26 OCT 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 17 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Received: 16 JUL 2010
 West Africa is a region of strong coupling between soil moisture and precipitation and where numerical weather prediction of precipitation generally exhibits poor skill. This region has been the focus of the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis - Land-surface Model Intercomparison Project in which the European Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) land surface scheme—among others—has been driven offline by accurate meteorological forcing in order to produce improved soil moisture estimates. The impact of these improved initial conditions for soil moisture on the short-range precipitation forecast is examined with the ECMWF Integrated Forecast System. While direct and beneficial impact of a more realistic soil moisture is obtained for accumulated precipitation in the regions over the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and eastern Sahel, over the rest of the Sahel the impact is detrimental or neutral.