, Volume 90, Issue 3-4, pp 215-224
Date: 28 Apr 2005

Squall lines and rainfall over Western Africa during summer 1986 and 87

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Using digitized IR images from the European satellite Meteosat, 153 squall lines (SLs) were observed over Western Africa during July, August and September 1986 and 87. The SL mean rainfall volume was computed using the daily rainfall amounts of more than 800 raingauges: 15 km3 in 1986 and 22.5 km3 in 1987. A mean amount of 15 mm was collected per rainy episode at a given station, however, as only about half of the stations situated under a SL experienced a rainy episode, the rainfall amount averaged along the total SL’s swath was 6.8 mm.

With the help of the 8 daily Meteosat slots the SL’s area daily variation could be estimated: namely a minimum around noon and a maximum around midnight. Using the SLs displacements (east–west) one had access to the daily variation of the rainfall volume, a minimum in the morning and a maximum toward the end of the afternoon, as already found by several authors who used Meteosat images.