Does convection-permitting simulate better rainfall distribution and extreme over Guinean coast and surroundings?

  • Kouakou KouadioEmail author
  • Sophie Bastin
  • Abdourahamane Konare
  • Vincent O. Ajayi


This research work focuses on the problem of climate simulation of rainfall over West Africa and particularly over coastal countries of the Gulf of Guinea by Regional Climate Models. The sensitivities of Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) Model were tested for changes in horizontal resolution (convection permitting versus parameterized) on the replication of West African monsoon for the year 2014. Sensitivity test was also performed for response of rainfall to changes in microphysics (MP) and planetary boundary layer (PBL) schemes. Generally, the result shows that WRF is able to replicates rainfall distribution with an adequate representation of the dynamical features of West African monsoon system. The high-resolution (wrf-4km) shows dry bias along the coast of the Gulf of Guinea but generally outperforms wrf-24km run especially in replication of the extreme rainfall distribution. The dry bias along the coastal area is suggested to not to be only related to convection but mostly to microphysics and PBL parameterisation schemes. Differences were noticed between the dynamics of WRF and ERA-interim outputs despite the use of spectral nudging in the experiment which then suggest strong interactions between scales. These differences were observed to be restricted mainly to the low-layer monsoon flow in JJA. Both runs at 24 and 4 km hardly simulate the typical diurnal distribution of rainfall. The sensitivity of WRF to MP (only sophisticated MP were tested) and PBL reveals a stronger impact of PBL than MP on rainfall distribution and the most significant added value over the Guinean coast and surroundings area was provided by the configurations using non-local PBL scheme (as ACM2). The changes in MP and PBL schemes in general seem to have less effect on the explicit runs (wrf-4km) in the replication of the rainfall over the Gulf of Guinea and the surroundings seaboard.


High resolution WRF West Africa monsoon Parameterization Rainfall Convection permitting 



We gratefully acknowledge the full scholarship and financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Higher Education and Research (BMBF) under the West African Science Service on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL) Doctoral Programme. We acknowledge the computing resources for the simulations supported by the IPSL group for regional climate and environmental studies, with granted access to the HPC resources of GENCI/IDRIS (under allocation i2015016313) and ESPRI. Additional support was provided by France Government through the Service de Cooperation et d’Action Culturelle under reference SCAC/2014/BE/002. We also acknowledge African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) project for most of the ground-based data used in the study. We thank Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales, France (LATMOS) and all the entire staff for providing computing resources and other necessary supports. I appreciate prof. A. Konare of blessed memory for being an extraordinary mentor and for working under his directive during this research work. Thank him again for all the supports, opportunities and facilities he provided. Finally, the authors are really grateful and thank the anonymous reviewers who contributed to improve this work.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physique de l’Atmosphère et Mécanique des Fluides (LAPA-MF), UFR SSMTUniversité Felix Houphouët-BoignyAbidjanCôte d’Ivoire
  2. 2.LATMOS/IPSLUVSQ Université Paris-Saclay, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, CNRSGuyancourtFrance
  3. 3.WASCAL Graduate Research Program on West African Climate System (WACS)Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA)AkureNigeria

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