Title: Heat waves in Africa 1981-2015, observations and reanalysis
Citation: NATURAL HAZARDS AND EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCES vol. 17 no. 1 p. 115-125
Publication Year: 2017
JRC N°: JRC105208
ISSN: 1561-8633
URI: www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/17/115/2017/
DOI: 10.5194/nhess-17-115-2017
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to show the extreme temperature regime of heat waves across Africa over recent years (1981–2015). Heat waves have been quantified using the Heat Wave Magnitude Index daily (HWMId), which merges the duration and the intensity of extreme temperature events into a single numerical index. The HWMId enables a comparison between heat waves with different timing and location, and it has been applied to maximum and minimum temperature records. The time series used in this study have been derived from: 1) observations from the Global Summary of the Day (GSOD); and 2) reanalysis data from ERA-INTERIM. The analysis show an increasing number of heat waves of both maxima and minima temperatures in the last decades. Results from heat wave analysis of maximum temperature (HWMIdtx) indicate an increase in intensity and frequency of extreme events. Specifically, from 1996 onwards it is possible to observe HWMIdtx spread with the maximum presence during 2006-2015. Between 2006 and 2015 the frequency (spatial coverage) of extreme heat waves had increased to 24.5 observations per year (60.1% of land cover), as compared to 12.3 per year (37.3% of land area) in the period from 1981 to 2005 for GSOD stations (reanalysis).
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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