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Special Issue "Precipitation Variability and Change in Africa"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology and Meteorology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Martin Stendel

Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate variability and change; regional climate modelling with a focus on Africa; precipitation and the hydrological cycle over East Africa; critical appraisal of observations datasets

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change, while, at the same time, several aspects of regional climate dynamics are still poorly understood. Projections of climate change using global circulation models (GCMs) generally agree on a temperature increase of 3 to 4 °C by the end of the 21st century. However, the projections of precipitation patterns, arguably the most important single climate variable in large parts of Africa, differ considerably between models due to model physics, resolution and the parameterization of subgrid-scale (e.g., convective) processes. In particular, differences in the treatment of soil moisture between models seem to play a crucial role. Changes in the onset and decay of the rainy season(s) have been documented, and some models even project a transition from a unimodal rainfall region (characterizing the inner tropics under present-day climate) to a bimodal regime with two dry and two wet seasons. As farming in most regions of sub-Saharan Africa is closely linked to the occurrence and timing of sufficient rainfall, the onset, length, precipitation amount and reliability of the rainy season will have a large effect on crop productivity and harvest.

This Special Issue aims at advancing our current knowledge on African precipitation and its past and future changes. Articles addressing modeling issues, both with GCMs or downscaled regional scenarios, as well as aspects of model physics and parameterization are welcome. As there is a lack of observations in many parts of Africa, analyses of observations or of historical data are especially encouraged. Further, articles on precipitation characteristics, such as timing of dry and wet seasons, rainfall regimes, and their changes are welcome.

Dr. Martin Stendel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Atmosphere is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sub-Saharan Africa

  • modelling and observation of precipitation and the hydrological cycle

  • stability of the onset, decay, duration

  • reliability of the wet season and its amount of precipitation

  • rainfall regimes and their variability over time

  • modelling aspects of African precipitation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Variability of Precipitation in Arid Climates Using the Wavelet Approach: Case Study of Watershed of Gabes in South-East Tunisia
Atmosphere 2017, 8(9), 178; doi:10.3390/atmos8090178
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 7 September 2017 / Accepted: 15 September 2017 / Published: 20 September 2017
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This study examines the variability of precipitation in the south-east of Tunisia through the analysis of data about annual and monthly precipitation at five stations in the Watershed of Gabes, from 1977 to 2015. Standardized precipitation ratio, wavelet and coherence wavelet analyses were
[...] Read more.
This study examines the variability of precipitation in the south-east of Tunisia through the analysis of data about annual and monthly precipitation at five stations in the Watershed of Gabes, from 1977 to 2015. Standardized precipitation ratio, wavelet and coherence wavelet analyses were applied to examine the temporal variability of monthly and annual precipitation and to determine the effect of climatic fluctuations on rainfall variability. Results of wavelet analysis showed varied energy bands at the studied stations at annual and inter-annual scales. The depicted bands spread according to intervals of 1-, 2- to 4-, 4- to 8- and 8- to 12-year cycles, obviously influenced by regional factors including altitude, proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and global fluctuations. Eventually, an analysis of wavelet coherence showed a strong correlation between precipitation and Mediterranean Oscillation (MO) in Gabes Watershed at different temporal scales. Contribution of the MO ranged between 51% and 93% of fluctuations (8–12 years) in the different examined rainfall stations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation Variability and Change in Africa)

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