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Influence of initial soil moisture in a regional climate model study over West Africa - Part 2: Impact on the climate extremes

Abstract : The influence of soil moisture initial conditions on the climate extreme indices over West Africa was investigated using the fourth generation of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics regional climate model (non-hydrostatic) coupled with version 4.5 of the Community Land Model (RegCM4-CLM4.5) at a 25 km spatial resolution. We initialized the control experiments with the reanalysis soil moisture data from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) reanalysis of the 20th century (ERA-20C), while we initialized the dry and wet experiments with the maximum and minimum soil moisture values over the West Africa domain, respectively. For each experiment, an ensemble of five runs was performed for 5 years (2001-2005) with soil moisture initial conditions for the runs prescribed on 1 June and the simulations being performed over 4 months (122 d) from June to September. The performance of RegCM4-CLM4.5 with respect to simulating the 10 extreme rainfall and temperature indices used in this study is presented. The results are then discussed for the two idealized simulations that are most sensitive to the dry and wet soil moisture initial conditions in order to highlight the impacts beyond the limits of soil moisture internal forcing in the model. Over the Central Sahel, dry (wet) experiments lead to a decrease (increase) in precipitation extreme indices related to the number of events, but this was not seen for indices related to the intensity of the events. Soil moisture initial conditions unequally affect the daily minimum and maximum temperatures. The strongest impact is found on the maximum temperature: wet (dry) experiments decrease (increase) the maximum temperature over the whole region. Over the Central Sahel, wet (dry) experiments lead to a decrease (increase) in the maximum values of the minimum temperature.
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Submitted on : Monday, June 27, 2022 - 4:49:59 PM
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Brahima Koné, Arona Diedhiou, Adama Diawara, Sandrine Anquetin, N'Datchoh Evelyne Touré, et al.. Influence of initial soil moisture in a regional climate model study over West Africa - Part 2: Impact on the climate extremes. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 2022, 26, pp.731-754. ⟨10.5194/hess-26-731-2022⟩. ⟨insu-03706395⟩

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