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Lisa Hannak, Peter Knippertz, Andreas H. Fink, Anke Kniffka, and Gregor Pante

1. Introduction The weather and climate in West Africa are characterized by the West African monsoon (WAM) system. During boreal summer differential heating of land and ocean together with upwelling of colder waters create a marked horizontal pressure gradient between the Saharan heat low (SHL) and the tropical Atlantic Ocean, which drives the southwesterly monsoonal flow ( Eltahir and Gong 1996 ; Hall and Peyrillé 2006 ). The WAM circulation controls winds, temperature, clouds, and most

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