Stratospheric Ozone as a Predictor of Rainfall over Southern Africa

Journal of Meteorology and Related Sciences

(J. Meteorol. Related. Sci)

Volume 2:1:3

Stratospheric Ozone as a Predictor of Rainfall over Southern Africa

Nzioka J. Muthama*, John K. Ng'ang'a* and George Simelane Maswazi**

*Department of Meteorology, University of Nairobi, **Swazi Meteorological Service, Buhleni, Swaziland

Corresponding Author

Nzioka J. Muthama,

Department of Meteorology, University of Nairobi,

P.O. BOX 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya

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(Manuscript received 16 November 2007, in final form 18 January 2008)


The study presents an investigation of the relationship between stratospheric ozone and rainfall over Southern Africa. Monthly stratospheric ozone data obtained from satellite based Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer observations and rainfall records obtained from the South African Weather Service was used. The ozone data was for seven stations which included Durban, Irene (Pretoria), Johannesburg, Nampula, Maputo, Springbok and Mfue in Zambia while the rainfall data was for Matsapha in Swaziland. The ozone data was correlated with rainfall for the period 1979-2004. The results obtained from the pearson correlations showed a significant relationship between ozone and rainfall for the September to December (SOND) and January to April (JFMA) season over Swaziland. The monthly correlations had a 40% variance for stations such as Johannesburg, Nampula, Pretoria and Mfue while Durban and Maputo had 20% of the variance. Springbok explained 13% of the variance. With respect to the SOND season, stations such as Durban, Springbok and Mfue gave 30% of the variance. For the JFMA season, Johannesburg, Springbok and Pretoria explained 24%, 34% and 24% of the variance, respectively. Although the prediction models do not predict exactly, the correlation coefficients suggest that stratospheric ozone can be used to predict rainfall over Southern Africa. With improved station network, the model predictions can be improved. Keywords: stratospheric ozone, rainfall prediction, Southern Africa.

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