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Benjamin Sultan, Serge Janicot, and Cyrille Correia

2004 ). This method, combined with a linear regression model for predicting monsoon rainfall and river discharge on 15–30-day time scales, has shown promising results. Second, more work must be done to investigate the skill of dynamical forecasts. Several studies ( Slingo et al. 1996 ; Waliser et al. 2003 ) have recently shown the potential for the numerical predictions of intraseasonal variability in general circulation models in other regions. In addition, we have shown ERA-40 very accurately

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Peter Knippertz and Andreas H. Fink

1. Introduction During boreal winter, tropical West Africa is under the influence of dry and often dusty northeasterly harmattan winds from the Sahara. Regular rainfalls are absent, except for the coastal strip between the Grain Coast area of western Africa and the Niger River delta (e.g., Buckle 1996 ). Occasional dry-season precipitation events in the Soudano–Sahelian zone of West Africa have been termed mango or heug rains in the western part and are often related to upper

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