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Preliminary climatology of southern Africa extreme weather: 1973–1992

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Summary

Preliminary climatological statistics of extreme weather events over the southern Africa region are established through analysis of daily weather maps of the South African Weather Bureau for a twenty year peiod, 1973–1992. Influences of global warming and inter-annual variability imposed by El Nino events, amongst others, are sought. Notable trends include a decrease in the frequency of station days with rainfall > 70 mm and an increase in station days with temperature > 38°C. Correlations offer some insights to extreme climate associations. Lows over the land in the west and over the sea to the east display consistent interannual variability, despite opposing rainfall regimes. Agreement in extreme temperature statistics in all regions suggest that drought is widespread over southern Africa. Rainfall in the north is negatively related to lows over the sea to the south. A potential mechanism underlying the inverse relationship between midlatitude and sub-tropical storminess is the development of a vorticity dipole associated with the westerly jet stream. This is investigated in an El Nino-influenced case study.

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Jury, M.R., Majodina, M. Preliminary climatology of southern Africa extreme weather: 1973–1992. Theor Appl Climatol 56, 103–112 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00863787

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Keywords

  • Vorticity
  • Interannual Variability
  • Extreme Weather Event
  • Rainfall Regime
  • Climatological Statistic