Regional and diurnal variability of the vertical structure of precipitation systems in Africa based on spaceborne radar data

  • Geerts B
  • Dejene T
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Abstract

Abstract The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) 2A25 radar reflectivity profiles and derived surface rain rates are used to describe the vertical structure of precipitation systems in Africa. Five years of data are used in both the boreal and austral summer rainy seasons. A number of climate regions are isolated and compared. To place the composite reflectivity profiles in context, they are contrasted against TRMM 2A25 observations over the Amazon. In all of tropical Africa, precipitation systems tend to be deeper and more intense than in the Amazon, and shallow warm-rain events are less common. In all African regions, but especially in the Sahel and northern Savanna, storms are characterized by high echo tops, high hydrometeor loading aloft, little indication of a radar brightband maximum at the freezing level, and evidence for low-level evaporation. Storms in Africa are generally most common, and deepest, in the late afternoon, and weaker shallow systems are relatively more common around noon. T...

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Authors

  • Bart Geerts

  • Teferi Dejene

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