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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-112
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-112
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  08 May 2020

08 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Influence of initial soil moisture in a Regional Climate Model study over West Africa: Part 1: Impact on the climate mean

Brahima Koné1, Arona Diedhiou1,2, Adama Diawara1, Sandrine Anquetin2, N'datchoh Evelyne Touré1, Adama Bamba1, and Arsene Toka Kobea1 Brahima Koné et al.
  • 1LAPAMF, Université Félix Houphouët Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  • 2Univ. Grenoble Alpes, IRD, CNRS, Grenoble INP, IGE, F-38000 Grenoble, France

Abstract. The impact of the anomalies in initial soil moisture in later spring on the subsequent mean climate over West Africa is examined using the latest version of Regional Climate Model of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (RegCM4). We performed this sensitivity studies over the West African domain, for June–July–August–September (JJAS) 2003 (wet year) and JJAS 2004 (a dry year) at the horizontal resolution of 25 km × 25 km. The reanalysis soil moisture of the European Centre Meteorological Weather Forecast's reanalysis of the 20th century (ERA20C) were used to initialize the control runs, whereas we initialized the soil moisture at the wilting points and field capacity respectively in dry and wet experiments. The impact of the anomalies in initial soil moisture on the precipitation in West Africa is homogeneous only over the central Sahel where dry (wet) experiments lead to rainfall decrease (increase). The strongest impact on precipitation in wet and dry experiments is found respectively over west and central Sahel with the peak of change about respectively 40 % and −8 %. The impact of the anomalies in initial soil moisture can persist for three or even four months, however the significance influence on precipitation, greater than 1 mm day−1, of the impact of the anomalies in initial soil moisture is much shorter, no longer than one month. The effect of soil moisture anomalies is mostly confined to the near-surface climate and in the upper troposphere. Overall, the impact of the anomalies in initial soil moisture is greater on temperature than on precipitation over most areas studied. The strongest homogeneous impacts of the anomalies in initial soil moisture on temperature is located over the central Sahel with the peak of change at −1.5 °C and 0.5 °C respectively in wet and dry experiments. The influence of initial the anomalies in initial soil moisture on the precipitation mechanism is also highlighted. We will investigate in the Part II of this study the influence of the anomalies in initial soil moisture on climate extremes.

Brahima Koné et al.

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Brahima Koné et al.

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Short summary
The impact of the initial soil moisture anomalies can persist for up to three-four months and is greater on temperature than on precipitation over West Africa. The strongest homogeneous impact on temperature is located over the Central Sahel with the peak of change at −1.5 °C and 0.5 °C respectively in wet and dry experiment. The strongest impact on precipitation in wet and dry experiments is found over West and Central Sahel with the peak of change about 40 % and −8 % respectively.
The impact of the initial soil moisture anomalies can persist for up to three-four months and is...
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