Assessment of heat and cold wave events over West Africa using three regional climate models

Mojisola Oluwayemisi Adeniyi, Samuel Oluwaseyi Oyekola

Abstract


This paper computes heat (cold) waves for four homogeneous temperature regions over West Africa based on excess heat (cold) index and heat (cold) stress. Era Interim daily minimum and maximum temperature data, National Centers for Environmental Prediction-National Center for Atmospheric Research Reanalysis mean daily sea level pressure, 850 hPa winds and 500 hPa geopotential height are used as the surrogate observed data while simulated data are outputs of three Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment models (CNRM-ARPEGE, SMHI-RCA and UQAM-CRCM). Heat (cold) wave is calculated for 2001-2008 with respect to 1989-2000 reference period. Findings show that heat wave fluctuates with Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) from Guinea-Savannah (GS) region in February-March to the Western Sahel between June and August. Frequency of heat waves is fairly stable except in 2007 and 2008 when it increases. The amplitude of heat wave increases from 2001 to 2008, probably due to global warming. With respect to the reanalysis; CNRM-ARPEGE, SMHI-RCA and UQAM-CRCM all simulate comparable spatial and temporal variations in heat waves. However, SMHI generally overestimates the magnitude of heat waves. The models also simulate cold waves similar to the Era Interim except at GS. [...]

Keywords


Heat wave, cold wave, West Africa, temperature regions

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References


DOI: https://doi.org/10.4401/ag-7039
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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X