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Extreme rainfall in East Africa October 2019 – January 2020 and context under future climate change

Wainwright, C. M., Finney, D. L., Kilavi, M., Black, E. and Marsham, J. (2020) Extreme rainfall in East Africa October 2019 – January 2020 and context under future climate change. Weather. ISSN 0043-1656 (In Press)

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Abstract/Summary

The 2019 October-December rains over East Africa were one of the wettest seasons on record, with many locations receiving more than double the climatological rainfall, leading to floods and landslides across the region. Above average rainfall continued into January 2020. The persistently high rainfall also contributed to the locust plagues that affected much of East Africa in January 2020. Wet conditions in East Africa are typically associated with El Nino and/or positive Indian Ocean Dipole events. In October-December 2019 a warm anomaly was present in the western Indian Ocean while a cool anomaly was present in the eastern Indian Ocean (a positive Indian Ocean Dipole); conditions known to give above average rainfall over East Africa. The warm anomaly in the western Indian Ocean persisted into January 2020. Seasonal and monthly forecasts correctly predicted above average rainfall during the October-December season. January rainfall is found to be correlated with sea surface temperatures over the western Indian Ocean. Climate model projections suggest that strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole events and wet October-December seasons may become more frequent under future climate change, with associated increased risks of floods.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > NCAS
Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:91881
Publisher:Wiley

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