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Abrupt Shift of the ITCZ over West Africa and intra-seasonal variability

Abstract : The onset of the monsoon system over West Africa is linked to the northward migration of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) during the northern spring and summer. By using daily gridded rainfall data and NCEP/NCAR wind reanalyses over the period 1968-1990, we show that this migration is characterised by an abrupt latitudinal shift of the ITCZ in late June from a quasi-stationary location at 5N in May-June to another quasi-stationary location at 10N in July-August. A composite analysis based on the shift dates shows that this northward shift is associated with the occurrence of a westward-travelling monsoon depression pattern over the Sahel with characteristic periodicities of 20-40 days.
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Benjamin Sultan, Serge Janicot. Abrupt Shift of the ITCZ over West Africa and intra-seasonal variability. Geophysical Research Letters, American Geophysical Union, 2000, 27 (20), pp.3353-3356. ⟨10.1029/1999GL011285⟩. ⟨hal-00162239⟩



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