Precipitation over southern Africa: An introduction

Prep Time:

20 Minutes

Cook Time:

1 Hour

Serves:

Level:

Intermediate

About the Recipe

In Chapter 2, monthly precipitation climatologies during the rainy season (Oct-Mar) are examined, across
various modeling and observational ensembles, for the period 1986-2005. The modeling ensembles
examined are the Regional Climate Model simulations performed in the context of the Coordinated
Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) – Africa domain (Giorgi and Gutowski (2015)) at
0.44◦ horizontal spatial resolution (CORDEX-0.44), and the RCM simulations performed within CORDEX-CORE, at 0.22◦ horizontal spatial resolution (CORDEX-0.22). In addition, Global Climate Model (GCM)
simulations are analyzed. The examined GCMs belong to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project
Phase 5 (CMIP5). ￿he GCMs selected are those that provided the lateral boundary conditions for the
CORDEX-Africa RCM simulations (CORDEX-0.44). Furthermore, the next generation of the same GCMs
that participate in the CMIP6 ensemble are also analyzed. Besides the climate model simulations, a
series of gauge-based gridded rainfall products, along with a set of satellite rainfall products and a
reanalysis product are exploited.

An intercomparison study is performed, with the purpose to address the question of whether there
is consensus among GCMs, RCMs and observational data, concerning monthly precipitation climatologies
during the rainy season (Oct-Mar), for the period 1986-2005 over southern Africa. This is achieved
through the use of total monthly precipitation amounts, standard deviation of monthly precipitation
across all various ensembles, calculation of precipitation-related indices and the calculation of monthly
precipitation trends. Finally, the investigation of improvement of monthly precipitation in RCM simulations
(CORDEX-0.44), relative to their driving GCMs (CMIP5) is performed through the assessment of a
dynamical process responsible for moisture transport from the tropical Indian Ocean towards mainland
southern Africa. The analysis of all RCM and GCM simulations is performed using ensemble means.
The analysis of individual RCM and GCM simulations is performed in the following chapter.

Ingredients

Preparation

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