West Africa

The Forecasters’ Handbook was created as an outcome of the international AMMA programme (African Monsoon Interdisciplinary Analysis, 2003-2013), through a process of knowledge exchange between researchers and operational weather forecasters. In the GCRF African SWIFT project we have used the knowledge contained in the Handbook to design new teaching materials, including practical training exercises, to support meteorological training in the region.

Meteorology of tropical West Africa: the Forecasters’ Handbook presents the science and practice of weather forecasting for this important region of the tropics. Connecting basic theory with forecasting practice, the book provides a unique training volume for operational weather forecasters, and is also suitable for students of tropical meteorology. The book has been translated into French: Météorologie de l’Afrique de l’Ouest tropicale.

The West African region contains a number of archetypal climatic zones, meaning that the science of its weather and climate applies to many other tropical regions. West Africa also exhibits some of the world’s most remarkable weather systems, making it an inspiring region for students to investigate.

The weather of West Africa affects human livelihoods on a daily basis, and can contribute to hardship, poverty and mortality. Therefore, the ability to understand and predict the weather has the potential to deliver significant benefits to both society and economies.

The book includes comprehensive background material alongside documentation of weather forecasting methods. Many examples taken from observations of West African weather systems are included and online case-studies are referenced widely.

This book has become an essential resource for ANACIM forecasters and our community in Africa more widely. We have copies of the book in English and French, and they are kept in our operational forecast office where forecasters consult them every day. The forecasters use the book to help them analyse patterns of winds and thermodynamics associated with the weather systems we experience, such as African Easterly Waves. The knowledge in the book is extremely valuable to ANACIM’s forecasters in their use of NWP [Numerical Weather Prediction] data.

Dr Ousmane Ndiaye

Director of Meteorology,
National Agency of Civil Aviation and Meteorology (ANACIM), Dakar, Sénégal


Please find below supporting materials for all the chapters, including PowerPoint presentations containing the original figures and some teaching notes, links to new material and one or two corrections to the published text.
To access the whole content of each chapter please refer to the Meteorology of tropical West Africa: the Forecasters’ Handbook itself (Météorologie de l’Afrique de l’Ouest tropicale).

10. Numerical Weather Prediction over Africa
11. West African Synthetic Analysis and Forecast: WASA/F

The Meteorology of tropical West Africa: the Forecasters’ Handbook is available in print or e-book format in English and a French version is also available both in print and e-book.