Rainfall Variability over Tanzania during October to December and Its Association with Sea Surface Temperature (SST)


The current study examines the interannual rainfall variability and its associated atmospheric circulation in Tanzania during October-December (OND) rainfall season based on 1974 to 2010 climatology. The Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF), composite and correlation analysis were used in this study. Years with enhanced precipitation are found to be associated with the low level moist and unstable wind from Congo basin which organizes and forms a confluent zone, an inter tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) extending from Congo to northern sector of the country. It however, characterizes low-level westerly moisture flux transport sourced from Congo basin, ascending limb of the local Indian Ocean Walker circulation over East Africa which enhances convection for wetness condition. Wet years are also coupled with the positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) and the warm phase of the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) condition. On the spatial scale, both the IOD and ENSO indices are well correlated with OND rains over the bimodal areas (Lake Victoria basin, Northeastern Highlands (NEH), and northern coast) with strong correlation being to the NEH. Strong temporal correlation is revealed between the OND rains and IOD (r = 0.6304) compared to ENSO (r = 0.5538) indicating that anomalous warming over the western Indian Ocean has a faster response to OND rains in Tanzania than the remote influence induced by anomalous warming from the central Pacific Ocean. The patterns associated with dry years are found to be linked with the low-level divergence accompanied by convergence in the upper level. This condition enhances continuous descending motion accompanied with suppression in rainfall activities. Dry years are also associated with negative IOD, cold phase of ENSO condition, descending limb of the Walker Circulation and significant reduction in the westerly moisture flux transport sourced from Congo basin towards the western sector and Lake Victoria basin.




Ame, H.K., Kijazi, A.L., Changa, L.B., Mafuru, K.B., Ngwali, M.K., Faki, M.M., Hmad, A.O. and Miraji, M.K. (2021) Rainfall Variability over Tan zania during October to December and Its Association with Sea Surface Temperature (SST). Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 11, 324-341.