Extreme rainfall events in the West African Sahel can be impactful, yet we do not completely understand why such storms develop. Here, we utilize NASA long‐term Integrated Multi‐satellitE Retrievals for Global precipitation measurement (IMERG) rainfall estimates, various atmospheric reanalyses, and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) convection‐permitting simulations to further examine the regional/local conditions that led to the development of two extreme events over the Damergou Gap of Niger/Nigeria identified in a prior study. The August 20, 2019 central Niger event is associated with the passage of a westward‐moving convective line. A strong thermal low over eastern Niger preconditions the environment by increasing the atmospheric moisture and vertical wind shear. Cold‐pool outflow boundaries generated from afternoon convection over the higher terrain ahead of the approaching line enhances convergence along the line while slowing down the system's movement, resulting in higher‐intensity rainfall for a longer time over the region. The July 19, 2001 northern Nigerian event has rainfall developing over the Jos Plateau in the afternoon. Guinean Highland ridging combined with low pressure over Niger/Chad produces a strong low‐level height gradient associated with the development of a strong southwesterly flow surge that transports tropical moisture into the region. This surge interacts with the equatorward migration of the Sahel–tropical Africa dryline, enhancing the convergence and convection north of the Jos Plateau. Our results indicate that while extreme rainfall in the Damergou Gap is likely to occur in anomalously moist environments, it is not necessarily associated with highly unstable environments (e.g., convective available potential energy [CAPE] >2,500 J·kg−1). Furthermore, interactions with cold‐pool outflow boundaries generated from other convective areas is important, and local terrain features are influential in the development of such convective areas.
This content will become publicly available on August 29, 2024
This study aims to (i) prepare a premonsoon thunderstorms database, (ii) understand the thunderstorm frequency, duration and intensity and (iii) composite analysis of dynamic and thermodynamic processes related to thunderstorms over India. The thunderstorm associated rainfall varies across India. Hence, a percentile‐based approach is implemented with the integrated multi‐satellite retrievals for global precipitation measurement (IMERG) dataset at 0.1° resolution to identify thunderstorms for 2001–2021. The 93rd percentile appears to be better for thunderstorm detection, with a success ratio of 82% (642 events are confirmed out of 786 detected) in eastern India. Further analysis indicated that 84% of the detected thunderstorms in eastern and northeastern India are associated with lightning activity. Based on this long‐term (2001–2021) thunderstorm data, the highest frequency of thunderstorms (40–45 events·year−1) is observed over the western foothills of the Himalayas, the northeast region, and the west coast of Kerala. The thunderstorm duration in the eastern and northeastern regions and the southwest coast of India is mostly 0.5–2.5 h, producing heavy rainfall (>7 mm·h−1) due to more moisture content and stronger updrafts. The composite structure of thermodynamic indices exhibits significant spatial variations over India and can be used to differentiate the regions of high thunderstorm activity. The minimum (maximum) convective available potential energy (convective inhibition) value required for thunderstorm development is not uniform throughout the country. However, the composites of K index and total totals index during thunderstorms are mostly uniform. This study highlights the benefits of IMERG rainfall in thunderstorm detection over India and helps to understand the local forcings and the effect of thunderstorm activity on different sectors like aviation, agriculture and so forth.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- International Journal of Climatology
- Medium: X Size: p. 6686-6705
- ["p. 6686-6705"]
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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