This study contributes to the body of current knowledge about the urban effect on extreme precipitation (EP) by investigating the city–EP interaction over Lagos, Nigeria. This is a unique, first-time study that adds a “missing piece” of this information about the African continent to the comprehensive global urban precipitation “puzzle.” The convection-permitting Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model is employed within an ensemble simulation framework using combinations of different physical schemes and boundary/initial conditions to detect the urban signal on an extreme rainfall event that occurred on 30 May 2006. WRF simulations are verified against satellite-estimated and in situ observations, and the results from the best-performing ensemble members are used for analysis. The results show that the control simulation with urban representation generated 20%–30% more rainfall over the urban area than the nonurban sensitivity simulation, in which the city is replaced by forest. Physical mechanisms behind the differences were revealed. We found that the urbanization in Lagos reduced evapotranspiration, resulting in the increase of sensible heating (by 75 W m−2). This further enhances the urban heat-island effect (+1.5 K of air surface temperature), facilitating horizontal convergence and boosting daytime sea breeze. As a result, more moisture is transported from the southern sea area to inland areas; the moisture then converges over Lagos city, creating favorable conditions for enhancing convection and extreme-rainfall-generating processes.
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