This research was (in part) supported by the EC Environment and Climate Research Programme (Contract ENV4-CT97-0500, Climate and Natural Hazards). We would like to acknowledge ECMWF for the use of their analyses and Chris Landsea and the NHC for providing the West Sahel rainfall index and the best-track data. We would also like to thank Ioannis Pytharoulis for providing us with Fig. 4. We thank John Molinari, Richard Pasch, and one anonymous reviewer for constructive comments on an earlier version of the paper.
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