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O. Bock and M. Nuret

1. Introduction Numerical weather prediction (NWP) models play an increasing role in our everyday life. Short- to medium-range weather forecasts are used to anticipate severe weather events, which have increasing socioeconomic impacts within the context of climate change and variability. NWP models serve also as the basis for developing seasonal weather prediction and climate projection systems, which both are of crucial importance for vulnerable regions, such as the Sahel. NWP model analyses

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C. Faccani, F. Rabier, N. Fourrié, A. Agusti-Panareda, F. Karbou, P. Moll, J.-P. Lafore, M. Nuret, F. Hdidou, and O. Bock

reorganization of the observation network mainly concerned the radiosonde network, which, before AMMA, had only a few operating stations in the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Telecommunication System (GTS). Radiosonde data are an extremely important source of information over land for weather forecast models, because they provide the assimilation procedure with a complete description of the three-dimensional structure of the atmosphere. Other available data, such as satellite radiances

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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

1. Introduction At the present time, large-scale model simulations of rainfall over West Africa suffer from major weaknesses, in both numerical weather prediction (NWP) systems ( Agustí-Panareda et al. 2009 ) and climate general circulation models ( Hourdin et al. 2010 ). In particular, mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) are still poorly handled by large-scale models (e.g. Lebel et al. 2000 ). This is of concern because MCSs are major contributors to the rainfall amounts over West Africa

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Anna Agustí-Panareda, Anton Beljaars, Carla Cardinali, Iliana Genkova, and Chris Thorncroft

1. Introduction The West African monsoon provides most of the annual precipitation over the drought-prone Sahel. However, numerical weather prediction (NWP) precipitation forecasts are generally poor during the wet West African monsoon season from June to September, partly because of the lack of observations available. Before the African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) field experiment in 2006, the radiosonde network was quite sparse and only a small amount of data was received via

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Adrian M. Tompkins and Laura Feudale

as the Prévisions Saisonnières en l’Afrique de l’Ouest (PRE-SAO). The dynamical models that contribute to this process include those issued from the Met Office, Météo-France, the International Research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI), the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). While some attempts have been and continue to be made to directly validate the consensus forecast itself (e.g., Hamatan et al. 2004

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