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M. Issa Lélé and Peter J. Lamb

nearly as wet as many years during the 1950s ( Fig. 1 ). Also, the two drought years differed substantially concerning both their basin-scale sea surface temperature (SST) causation and resulting regional West African rainfall anomaly patterns. During 1983, for which the key SST forcing emanated from the pronounced tropical Pacific El Niño event ( Lamb and Peppler 1992 ), the drought extended from the Sudan–Sahel equatorward to the Gulf of Guinea coast ( Ward 1998 ; Nicholson and Grist 2001

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