Flooding in West Africa

Flooding in West Africa
Photograph of flooding in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on 1 Sep 2009; Abdoulaye Ouerdraogo / NCU COMET Standard Terms of Use

The rainy season in Sahelian West Africa extends from June to September and is tied to the position of the intertropical front. During this period, mesoscale convective systems (MCSs) often produce significant rainfall that can lead to flooding.

This module examines an extreme flooding event that occurred in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 31 August to 1 September 2009. Learners assume the role of forecaster, assessing meteorological conditions to see if an MCS will develop that can lead to heavy rain and flooding. They follow a forecast process that emphasizes the use of satellite data, standard surface and upper-air charts, and model output. The forecast process is tied to a conceptual model of the key features that drive convective activities in West Africa.

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Madalina Ungur

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