Drivers and Subseasonal Predictability of Heavy Rainfall in Equatorial East Africa and Relationship with Flood Risk
Equatorial East Africa (EEA) suffers from significant flood risks. These can be mitigated with preemptive action; however, currently available early warnings are limited to a few days’ lead time. Extending warnings using subseasonal climate forecasts could open a window for more extensive preparedness activity. However, before these forecasts can be used, the basis of their skill and relevance for flood risk must be established. Here we demonstrate that subseasonal forecasts are particularly skillful over EEA. Forecasts can skillfully anticipate weekly upper-quintile rainfall within a season, at lead times of 2 weeks and beyond. We demonstrate the link between the Madden–Julian oscillation (MJO) and extreme rainfall events in the region, and confirm that leading forecast models accurately represent the EEA teleconnection to the MJO.
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