The Mean Surface Water Balance over Africa and Its Interannual Variability

S. E. Nicholson Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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J. Kim Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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M. B. Ba Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida

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A. R. Lare Applied Research Corporation, NASA/GSFC,Greenbelt, Maryland

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Abstract

This article presents calculations of surface water balance for the African continent using a revised version of the Lettau climatonomy. Calculations are based on approximately 1400 rainfall stations, with records generally covering 60 yr or longer. Continental maps of evapotranspiration, runoff, and soil moisture are derived for January, July, and the annual mean. The model is also used to provide a gross estimate of the interannual variability of these parameters over most of the continent and local water balance calculations for a variety of locations in Africa. The results are compared with four other comprehensive global water balance studies. The results of this study are being used to produce a 1° × 1° gridded dataset for the continent, with potential applications for numerical modeling studies.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson, Dept. of Meteorology, B-161, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-3034.

Abstract

This article presents calculations of surface water balance for the African continent using a revised version of the Lettau climatonomy. Calculations are based on approximately 1400 rainfall stations, with records generally covering 60 yr or longer. Continental maps of evapotranspiration, runoff, and soil moisture are derived for January, July, and the annual mean. The model is also used to provide a gross estimate of the interannual variability of these parameters over most of the continent and local water balance calculations for a variety of locations in Africa. The results are compared with four other comprehensive global water balance studies. The results of this study are being used to produce a 1° × 1° gridded dataset for the continent, with potential applications for numerical modeling studies.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Sharon E. Nicholson, Dept. of Meteorology, B-161, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-3034.

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