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Atmosphere 2018, 9(10), 398; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos9100398

Observational Characterization of the Synoptic and Mesoscale Circulations in Relation to Crop Dynamics: Belg 2017 in the Gamo Highlands, Ethiopia

1
Meteorology and Air Quality Group, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
2
Faculty of Meteorology and Hydrology, Arba Minch Water Technology Institute, Arba Minch University, P.O. Box 21, Arba Minch, Ethiopia
3
Centre for Crop Systems Analysis, Wageningen University and Research, P.O. Box 430, 6700 AK Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 July 2018 / Revised: 23 September 2018 / Accepted: 29 September 2018 / Published: 11 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions)
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Abstract

The Gamo Highlands in Ethiopia are characterized by complex topography and lakes. These modulate the mesoscale and synoptic scale weather systems. In this study, we analyzed the temporal and spatial variations in weather as function of topography and season and their impact on potato crop growth. To determine how crop growth varies with elevation, we installed a network of six automatic weather stations along two transects. It covers a 30-km radius and 1800-m elevation difference. We conducted a potato field experiment near the weather stations. We used the weather observations as input for a crop model, GECROS. Data analysis showed large differences between weather in February and May. February is more dominated by mesoscale circulations. The averaged February diurnal patter shows a strong east to southeast lake breezes and, at night, weak localized flows driven by mountain density flows. In contrast, in May, the synoptic flow dominates, interacting with the mesoscale flows. The GECROS model satisfactorily predicted the elevational gradient in crop yield. Model sensitivity experiments showed that belg-averaged precipitation distribution gave the highest yield, followed by exchanging May weather observations with April. View Full-Text
Keywords: complex topography; crop yield; Intertropical Convergence Zone; lake breeze; potato complex topography; crop yield; Intertropical Convergence Zone; lake breeze; potato
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    Doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.07.009
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MDPI and ACS Style

Minda, T.T.; Molen, M.K.; Heusinkveld, B.G.; Struik, P.C.; de Arellano, J. .-G. Observational Characterization of the Synoptic and Mesoscale Circulations in Relation to Crop Dynamics: Belg 2017 in the Gamo Highlands, Ethiopia. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 398.

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