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ROLE OF THE INDIAN AND ATLANTIC OCEANS ON THE CLIMATE VARIABILITY OF EASTERN AFRICA. Charles C. Mutai Kenya Meteorological Department P. O. Box 30259, Nairobi Kenya. CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF EAST AFRICAN CLIMATE. Rainfall is the climatic factor of maximum significance

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role of the indian and atlantic oceans on the climate variability of eastern africa

ROLE OF THE INDIAN AND ATLANTIC OCEANS ON THE CLIMATE VARIABILITY OF EASTERN AFRICA

Charles C. Mutai

Kenya Meteorological Department

P. O. Box 30259, Nairobi Kenya

current understanding of east african climate
CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF EAST AFRICAN CLIMATE
  • Rainfall is the climatic factor of maximum significance
  • Seasonal rainfall patterns related to migration of ITCZ: long rains (MAM), short rains (S/OND)
  • Interannual variability of seasonal rains results from complex interactions of forced and free atmospheric variations (OND variability stronger than MAM):

SST forcing in Pacific, Atlantic and Indian(Ogallo et al. 1988; Nyenzi 1992; Ininda 1994; Mutai et al. 1988; among others)

OND rainfall positively related to ENSO

Large/synoptic/meso - scale circulations; Anticyclones cyclones, easterly/westerly perturbations (Nakamura 1969; Anyamba 1984; Hastenrath et al. 1993; Okoola 1999; Mutai and Ward 2000; etc).

current understanding of east african climate 2
CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF EAST AFRICAN CLIMATE (2)
  • Predictive schemes based solely on ENSO showed skill (Farmer 1988; Hutchinson 1988; KMD/DMCN; etc.)
  • Anomalous SST in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans - associated with rainfall fluctuations (Reverdin et al. 1986; Flohn 1987; Nicholson and Entekhabi 1987; Webster et al. 1999; Saji et al. 1999; Black et al. 2002; among others)
  • Two SSTs (of the three) predictors used by Mutai et al. (1998) largely independent ENSO ~ SST variability in the northwestern tropical Pacific - Indian Ocean and in the equatorial - tropical South Atlantic.
  • GCM simulations (Goddard and Graham 1999; Latif et al. 1999) indicated strong role for the Indian Ocean SSTs in East African rainfall variability
  • SST gradients in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean are currently used in monthly / seasonal climate monitoring and forecasting (KMD and DMCN)
slide4

“Long Rains”

“Short Rains”

0-25

25-50

50-100

100-200

> 200 mm

MEAN MONTHLY RAINFALL (mm) OVER EAST AFRICA, 1931-1985

Nyenzi (1992)

slide5

REGIONALIZATION OF E.A. RAINFALL

Indeje et al. (2000)

Indeje et al. (2000)

slide9

ENSO - variance - removed

OND RAINFALL-WIND TELECONNECTIONS

slide10

CONTRIBUTION OF ATLANTIC OCEAN IN CLIMATE VARIABILITY OF EAST AFRICA

  • Mutai et al. (1998) developed an empirical prediction for East Africa OND rainfall based on three precursor global SST REOFs:
  • SST REOF4 closely reflect the ENSO signal
  • SST REOF5 - SST variance in northwestern tropical Pacific - Indian Ocean
  • SST REOF2 - variability in the equatorial and tropical South Atlantic
slide15

CONTRIBUTION OF INDIAN OCEAN IN CLIMATE VARIABILITY OF EAST AFRICA

Equatorial Indian Ocean variability can be simply be computed as a multivariate measure of key variables over the west (W), East (E) and central (C) Indian Ocean basin:

IOD = (TW - TE) - (PW - PE) - UC

where T, P and U represents the SST, sea-level pressure (SLP) and near-surface zonal wind index, respectively.

slide16

PENTAD COMPOSITE 850-hPa WINDS

Cold Phase ~

W. Indian Ocean

Warm Phase ~

W. Indian Ocean

slide18

GCM CLIMATE SIMULATIONS

    • Goddard and Graham (1999)used observed SSTs 1970-92
    • Latif et al. (1999) considered case of heavy rains of Dec-Jan 1997/98
  • Isolated the primary control of SST anomalies in the Indian Ocean only, then in the Pacific and then in both the Indian and Pacific Oceans
  • Role of Indian Ocean in climate variability over East Africa
slide20

SUMMARY

  • Understanding mechanisms for Indian / Atlantic Ocean dynamics is important for East African climate
  • Observational network in Indian Ocean?
  • Utility of satellite-derived and reanalysis data