Mean climate and seasonal cycle

Andreas H. Fink, Thomas Engel, Volker Ermert, Roderick Van Der Linden, Malvin Schneidewind, Robert Redl, Ernest Afiesimama, Wassila M. Thiaw, Charles Yorke, Matthew Evans, Serge Janicot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter introduces the physical and meteorological conditions that define the climate of West Africa on the continental scale. Two of the most important climatic surface variables in West Africa are rainfall (P) and actual evapotranspiration (ET). A common approach to infer reasonable patterns of ET is to force an ensemble of land surface models with observed rainfall, radiation and other reanalysed surface meteorological variables. The inland penetration of the West African monsoon (WAM) in the summer months is determined by the recycling of water at the surface, through P-ET, and by the horizontal transport and mixing of water vapour and clouds in the atmosphere. The chapter continues with observables closely tied to the energy and bio-terrestrial water cycle of the WAM. Finally, it deals with climatologies of some classical surface observables recorded at weather stations, such as pressure, temperature, humidity and wind.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeteorology of Tropical West Africa
Subtitle of host publicationThe Forecasters' Handbook
Number of pages40
ISBN (Electronic)9781118391297
ISBN (Print)9781118391303
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2017


  • Bio-terrestrial water cycle
  • Evapotranspiration climatology
  • Rainfall climatology
  • Seasonal cycle
  • Water vapour
  • Weather stations
  • West African climate
  • West African monsoon

Cite this