Journal article

How well does MPAS-atmosphere simulate the characteristics of the Botswana High?

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Publication Details

Author list: Maoyi ML, Abiodun BJ

Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Climate Dynamics

Total number of pages: 20

ISSN: 0930-7575

eISSN: 1432-0894



The Botswana High is a prominent mid-tropospheric system that modulates rainfall over subtropical southern Africa, but the capability of a global climate model (GCM) to reproduce it remains unknown. This study examines the capability of a GCM with quasi-uniform resolution (Model Prediction Across Scales, hereafter MPAS) in simulating the characteristics of the Botswana High. The MPAS is applied to simulate the global climate at 240 km quasi-uniform resolution over the globe for the period 1980–2010. The model results are validated against gridded observation dataset (Climate Research Unit, CRU), satellite dataset (Global Precipitation Climatology Project, GPCP), and reanalysis datasets (Climate Forecast System Reanalysis, CFSR; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA; and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts version 5, ERA5). In general, MPAS replicates all the essential features in the climatology of temperature, rainfall, 500 hPa geopotential height and vertical motion over southern Africa, reproduces the spatial and temporal variation of the Botswana High, and captures the influence of the Botswana High on droughts and deep convections over the sub-continent. In addition, the model reproduces well the anomalies in vertical motion over subtropical southern Africa during +ve and −ve phases of the Botswana High. However, the model struggles to reproduce the precipitation pattern associated with the positive and negative modes of the Botswana High. The results of this study have an application in understanding the characteristics of the Botswana High and in improving MPAS for seasonal forecasting over southern Africa.


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Last updated on 2021-11-06 at 12:07