Abstract

The relationship between the African easterly jet (AEJ), Saharan mineral dust (SMD) aerosols, and West African precipitation (WAP) is examined using European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts interim reanalysis (ERA-Interim) data, the NASA Modern-Era Retrospective Analysis for Research and Applications, version 2 (MERRA-2), and the NASA Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) Multisatellite Precipitation Analysis (TMPA) for July–September 1998–2017. The spatial orientation and structure of AEJs in different SMD–WAP environments are compared. In dustier years, the AEJ is farther east and stronger, rotates clockwise, and has larger zonal and vertical shears. In wetter years, the AEJ is farther north, has a shorter zonal extent, and has larger meridional shear. These changes to the AEJ are a response to the combined effects of the SMD and WAP on the thermal field, which is confirmed through sensitivity tests carried out with the Weather Research and Forecasting Model coupled to an interactive dust model.

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