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Anne E. Jones and Andrew P. Morse


Seasonal multimodel forecasts from the Development of a European Multimodel Ensemble System for Seasonal-to-Interannual Prediction (DEMETER) project are used to drive a malaria model and create reforecasts of malaria incidence for Botswana, in southern Africa, in a unique integration of a fully dynamic, process-based malaria model with an ensemble forecasting system. The forecasts are verified against a 20-yr malaria index and compared against reference simulations obtained by driving the malaria model with data from the 40-yr European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis (ERA-40). Performance assessment reveals skill in the DEMETER-driven malaria forecasts for prediction of low (below the lower tercile), above-average (above the median), and high (above the upper tercile) malaria events, with the best results obtained for low malaria events [relative operating characteristics (ROC) area = 0.84, 95% confidence interval = 0.63–1.0]. For high malaria events, the DEMETER-driven malaria forecasts are skillful, but the forecasting system performs poorly for those years that it predicts the highest probabilities of a high malaria event. Potential economic value analysis demonstrates the potential value for the DEMETER-driven malaria forecasts over a wide range of user cost-loss ratios, which is primarily due to the ability of the system to save on the cost of action in low malaria years.

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Xuefeng Cui, Douglas J. Parker, and Andrew P. Morse


This paper investigates the response of the land surface and the lowest section of the atmospheric surface layer to rainfall events and through the subsequent drying out period. The impacts of these sequences of rainfall and drying events in controlling near-surface temperatures are put into the context of malaria transmission modeling using temperature controls on the survivability of mosquitoes that are developing the malaria parasite. Observations using measurements from a dwelling hut, constructed to a local design at Wankama near Niamey, Niger, show that as the atmosphere gets moister and colder following rainfall, there is a potentially higher risk of malaria transmission during the rainy days. As the atmosphere gets warmer and drier during the drying period, there is a potentially decreasing rate of malaria transmission as the increasing temperature reduces the survivability of the mosquitoes. A numerical weather prediction model comparison shows that the high-resolution limited-area model outperforms the global-scale model and shows good agreement with the observations. Statistical analysis from the model results confirms that the findings are not restricted to a single location or single time of the day. It was also found that air temperatures over forest areas do not change as much during the study period, since the longer memory of the soil moisture means there is relatively little influence from single rainfall events.

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Ibrahima Diouf, Roberto Suárez-Moreno, Belen Rodríguez-Fonseca, Cyril Caminade, Malick Wade, Wassila M. Thiaw, Abdoulaye Deme, Andrew P. Morse, Jaques-André Ndione, Amadou T. Gaye, Anta Diaw, and Marie Khemesse Ngom Ndiaye


Climate variability is a key factor in driving malaria outbreaks. As shown in previous studies, climate-driven malaria modeling provides a better understanding of malaria transmission dynamics, generating malaria-related parameters validated as a reliable benchmark to assess the impact of climate on malaria. In this framework, the present study uses climate observations and reanalysis products to evaluate the predictability of malaria incidence in West Africa. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) are shown as a skillful predictor of malaria incidence, which is derived from climate-driven simulations with the Liverpool Malaria Model (LMM). Using the SST-based Statistical Seasonal Forecast model (S4CAST) tool, we find robust modes of anomalous SST variability associated with skillful predictability of malaria incidence Accordingly, significant SST anomalies in the tropical Pacific and Atlantic Ocean basins are related to a significant response of malaria incidence over West Africa. For the Mediterranean Sea, warm SST anomalies are responsible for increased surface air temperatures and precipitation over West Africa, resulting in higher malaria incidence; conversely, cold SST anomalies are responsible for decreased surface air temperatures and precipitation over West Africa, resulting in lower malaria incidence.. Our results put forward the key role of SST variability as a source of predictability of malaria incidence, being of paramount interest to decision-makers who plan public health measures against malaria in West Africa. Accordingly, SST anomalies could be used operationally to forecast malaria risk over West Africa for early warning systems.

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Françoise Guichard, Nicole Asencio, Christophe Peugeot, Olivier Bock, Jean-Luc Redelsperger, Xuefeng Cui, Matthew Garvert, Benjamin Lamptey, Emiliano Orlandi, Julia Sander, Federico Fierli, Miguel Angel Gaertner, Sarah C. Jones, Jean-Philippe Lafore, Andrew Morse, Mathieu Nuret, Aaron Boone, Gianpaolo Balsamo, Patricia de Rosnay, Bertrand Decharme, Philip P. Harris, and J.-C. Bergès


An evaluation of precipitation and evapotranspiration simulated by mesoscale models is carried out within the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) program. Six models performed simulations of a mesoscale convective system (MCS) observed to cross part of West Africa in August 2005.

Initial and boundary conditions are found to significantly control the locations of rainfall at synoptic scales as simulated with either mesoscale or global models. When initialized and forced at their boundaries by the same analysis, all models forecast a westward-moving rainfall structure, as observed by satellite products. However, rainfall is also forecast at other locations where none was observed, and the nighttime northward propagation of rainfall is not well reproduced. There is a wide spread in the rainfall rates across simulations, but also among satellite products.

The range of simulated meridional fluctuations of evapotranspiration (E) appears reasonable, but E displays an overly strong zonal symmetry. Offline land surface modeling and surface energy budget considerations show that errors in the simulated E are not simply related to errors in the surface evaporative fraction, and involve the significant impact of cloud cover on the incoming surface shortwave flux.

The use of higher horizontal resolution (a few km) enhances the variability of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and precipitable water (PW) at the mesoscale. It also leads to a weakening of the daytime precipitation, less evapotranspiration, and smaller PW amounts. The simulated MCS propagates farther northward and somewhat faster within an overall drier atmosphere. These changes are associated with a strengthening of the links between PW and precipitation.

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