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Title: Teleconnections between Rainfall in Equatorial Africa and Tropical Sea-Surface Temperatures: A Focus on Western Uganda
Abstract Substantial research on the teleconnections between rainfall and sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) has been conducted across equatorial Africa as a whole, but currently no focused examination exists for western Uganda, a rainfall transition zone between eastern equatorial Africa (EEA) and central equatorial Africa (CEA). This study examines correlations between satellite-based rainfall totals in western Uganda and SSTs – and associated indices – across the tropics over 1983-2019. It is found that rainfall throughout western Uganda is teleconnected to SSTs in all tropical oceans, but much more strongly to SSTs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans than the Atlantic Ocean. Increased Indian Ocean SSTs during boreal winter, spring, and autumn and a pattern similar to a positive Indian Ocean Dipole during boreal summer are associated with increased rainfall in western Uganda. The most spatially complex teleconnections in western Uganda occur during September-December, with northwestern Uganda being similar to EEA during this period and southwestern Uganda being similar to CEA. During boreal autumn and winter, northwestern Uganda has increased rainfall associated with SST patterns resembling a positive Indian Ocean Dipole or El Niño. Southwestern Uganda does not have those teleconnections; in fact, increased rainfall there tends to be more associated with La Niña-like SST patterns. Tropical Atlantic Ocean SSTs also appear to influence rainfall in southwestern Uganda in boreal winter as well as in boreal summer. Overall, western Uganda is a heterogeneous region with respect to rainfall-SST teleconnections; therefore, southwestern Uganda and northwestern Uganda require separate analyses and forecasts, especially during boreal autumn and winter.  more » « less
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Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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