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Atmosphere 2018, 9(4), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9040155

Long-Term Rainfall Trends over the Tanzania Coast

Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, North West University, Mmabatho 2745, South Africa
Received: 28 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 4 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precipitation Variability and Change in Africa)
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Abstract

Spatial and temporal rainfall trends over the Tanzanian coast are analysed and trends for over 50 years are investigated. This type of study is crucial at this time because the area under study is now one of the world’s economic hotspots, as major gas fields have been discovered and the area also has high potential for oil field discoveries. Methods applied in this study include the Mann-Kendall test for rainfall data to detect the long-term trends, while Sen’s slope estimator test was used for finding the magnitude of change over time. The results exhibited rainfall trend patterns with substantial variations between the stations. The Z value of the Mann-Kendall test showed various months with negative trend at a significance level ≥95%. The few months that showed a positive trend were not statistically significant. Generally, rainfall trends varied in different months for different stations. However, the most outstanding observation on individual months is July, which showed a highly statistically significant (99.9%) reduction in rainfall for the whole coastal area, including the regions of Mtwara, Dar es Salaam and Tanga. The last part of this paper describes the relationship between July rainfall and the horizontal winds from the National Centre for Environmental Prediction/National Centre for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) re-analysis. It is observed that the strength of the anticyclonic flow over the southwest Indian Ocean, which is associated with the westward fluxes of moisture, is responsible for rainfall over the whole coastal area of Tanzania during July. View Full-Text
Keywords: seasonal rainfall characteristics; Mann-Kendall test; agriculture; Tanzania seasonal rainfall characteristics; Mann-Kendall test; agriculture; Tanzania
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Kabanda, T. Long-Term Rainfall Trends over the Tanzania Coast. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 155.

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