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Spatial patterns and trends of extreme rainfall over the southern coastal belt of West Africa

Abstract : The southern coastal belt of West Africa (SCWA) with its high population density and many major cities, combined to the low elevation and poor urban planning, is very vulnerable to floods resulting from extreme rainfall events. The aim of this paper is to analyze the characteristics of extreme rainfall in the SCWA during the 1981–2015 period, in terms of frequency, intensity, seasonality, and trends. Therefore, daily rainfall of 31 stations located in the southern part of Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, and Benin and rainfall estimation products combining in situ observations and satellites rainfall estimation data have been used. For each station and pixel, the local 95th percentile (P95) computed on all rain days of at least 1 mm was used to define extreme rainfall events. Rainfall on the coastal belt is heavier than further inland, with P95 values reaching 82 and 52 mm/day for coastal and continental stations, respectively. Extreme rainfall along the coast occurs predominantly between May and July. Interannual variations of different indicators of extreme rainfall show a broad agreement between rain gauge data and rainfall estimates from CHIRPS (Climate Hazards Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station) data. In the southern part of Côte d’Ivoire and Togo/Benin, increase of number of extreme rainfall event (NP95) and stability number of days with rainfall less than P95 (NL95) are recorded, which induces an increase of total rainfall. But, in the southern part of Ghana, there is a stable total rainfall due to an increase in NP95 compensated by a decrease in NL95.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 8:03:58 AM
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Marc Kpanou, Patrick Laux, Télesphore Brou, Expédit Vissin, Pierre Camberlin, et al.. Spatial patterns and trends of extreme rainfall over the southern coastal belt of West Africa. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Springer Verlag, 2020, ⟨10.1007/s00704-020-03441-8⟩. ⟨hal-03047847⟩



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