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Mimi Stith, Alessandra Giannini, John del Corral, Susana Adamo, and Alex de Sherbinin

rainfall variability over Africa on time scales of decades to millennia . Global Planet. Change , 26 , 137 – 158 , doi: 10.1016/S0921-8181(00)00040-0 . Nicholson, S. E. , 2005 : On the question of the “recovery” of the rains in the West African Sahel . J. Arid Environ. , 63 , 615 – 641 , doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2005.03.004 . Olsson, L. , Eklundh L. , and Ardö J. , 2005 : A recent greening of the Sahel—Trends, patterns and potential causes . J. Arid Environ. , 63 , 556 – 566 , doi: 10

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Susan Stillman, Xubin Zeng, and Michael G. Bosilovich

Forecast System Reanalysis . Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. , 91 , 1015 – 1057 , doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS3001.1 . Schmugge, T. J. , and Jackson T. J. , 1994 : Mapping soil moisture with microwave radiometers . Meteor. Atmos. Phys. , 54 , 213 – 223 , doi: 10.1007/BF01030061 . Sheffield, J. , and Coauthors , 2013 : North American climate in CMIP5 experiments. Part II: Evaluation of historical simulations of intraseasonal to decadal variability . J. Climate , 26 , 9247 – 9290 , doi: 10.1175/JCLI

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Rahul S. Todmal

decades. Based on the same methodology, attempts have been made to develop the standardized runoff index (SRI) ( Shukla and Wood 2008 ) and standardized water-level index (SWI) ( Bhuiyan et al. 2006 ) to quantify the hydrological droughts. In India, about 15.8% (50.8 Mha) of the geographical area is arid and nearly 37.6% (123.4 Mha) is characterized by semiarid climatic conditions ( Ajai et al. 2009 ). Therefore, drought is one of the major disasters, as it affects the agrarian economy of the country

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M. Issa Lélé, Lance M. Leslie, and Peter J. Lamb

study, the VIMFs are derived using the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data. From the viewpoint of moisture transport, this is a valuable resource to study interannual variability in the hydrologic cycle, with the possibility of using several decades of data. Attention is given to the phases of WAM life cycle, from buildup and onset to maturity and withdrawal. The goal is to understand better the relation between large-scale atmospheric circulation, moisture flux and associated convergence, and precipitation

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Wassila M. Thiaw and Vadlamani B. Kumar

decades, much attention has focused on advance risk planning in agriculture and water and, more recently, on health. These initiatives require updates of weather and climate outlooks. This paper describes the active role of NOAA’s African Desk in FEWS and in enhancing the capacity of African institutions to improve forecasts. The African Desk was established in 1994 to provide services to U.S. agencies and African institutions. Emphasis is on the operational products across all time scales from

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Zewdu T. Segele, Michael B. Richman, Lance M. Leslie, and Peter J. Lamb

rainfall, its seasonal prediction is of great importance for agricultural planning and socioeconomic disaster mitigation. Several previous studies have examined aspects of the intraseasonal-to-interannual variability of Ethiopian rainfall. These studies have considered the following: Kiremt onset, cessation, and resulting growing season variability ( Segele and Lamb 2005 ); the abrupt latitudinal rainfall changes involved and their representation in climate model simulations ( Riddle and Cook 2008

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Elinor R. Martin and Chris Thorncroft

; Pasch et al. 1998 ). It has been suggested that variability in AEW activity (number, intensity, physical, and dynamical characteristics) impacts TCs, as AEWs can act as preexisting cyclonic circulations or seeds for Atlantic TCs (e.g., Burpee 1972 ; Avila and Pasch 1992 ; Thorncroft and Hodges 2001 ) and vary on time scales from days to decades (e.g., Carlson 1969 ; Hopsch et al. 2007 ; Martin and Thorncroft 2014 ). Thus, if we are to make accurate projections of future Atlantic TC changes, we

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Rosalind Cornforth, Douglas J. Parker, Mariane Diop-Kane, Andreas H. Fink, Jean-Philippe Lafore, Arlene Laing, Ernest Afiesimama, Jim Caughey, Aida Diongue-Niang, Abdou Kassimou, Peter Lamb, Benjamin Lamptey, Zilore Mumba, Ifeanyi Nnodu, Jerome Omotosho, Steve Palmer, Patrick Parrish, Leon-Guy Razafindrakoto, Wassila Thiaw, Chris Thorncroft, and Adrian Tompkins

activity are modulated not only by synoptic systems like African easterly waves, but also at longer intraseasonal time scales (10–90 days). These subseasonal modes of variability are mostly controlled by convectively coupled equatorial waves, midlatitude atmospheric intrusions, as well as the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO). They influence the onset of the rainy season and have an important impact on agricultural yields in the Sahel. The progress made in subseasonal forecasting (chapter 7) emphasizes

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Thomas Engel, Andreas H. Fink, Peter Knippertz, Gregor Pante, and Jan Bliefernicht

future. Enormous population growth and urbanization occurred in Africa in recent decades and are projected to continue. Since 1950 the population quadrupled and is likely to quadruple again until the end of the twenty-first century, with then more than 4 billion inhabitants ( UNDP 2015 ). In 2050 more than 1.3 billion are expected to live in urban areas—5 times more than in 2000 ( UNDP 2015 ). In addition, Africa has been identified as the region most vulnerable to climate change and variability

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

importantly precipitation over a large area. Monsoonal rainfall affects the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people through its impacts on agriculture, health, water resources, and power generation. The large interannual to decadal variations of the WAM can have catastrophic consequences for the local population ( Benson and Clay 1998 ; Nicholson 2001 ). Therefore, a reliable weather, seasonal, and decadal climate prediction is crucial for many planning activities across the region. Despite these

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