AMMA / African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis

  • Contact: Prof. Dr. S. Jones, Dr. N. Kalthoff, Dr. B. Vogel
  • Project Group: IMK-TRO

African Monsoon Multidisciplinary Analysis (AMMA) AMMA_logo_IMK


Mesoscale convective system (MCS) over Burkina Faso.

The dramatic change in the region of the West African Monsoon (WAM) from wet conditions in the 50s and 60s to much drier conditions from the 70s to the 90s represents one of the strongest inter-decadal signals on the planet in the 20th century. Marked inter-annual variations in the recent decades have resulted in extremely dry years with devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts. Vulnerability of West African societies to climate variability is likely to increase in the next decades as demands on resources increase due to the rapidly growing population. The situation may be exacerbated by the effects of climate change, land degradation, water pollution and biomass burning. Furthermore, the WAM has an impact on the downstream tropical Atlantic by providing the seedling disturbances for the majority of Atlantic tropical cyclones and on the global climate as one of the world’s largest source regions of mineral dust and of fire aerosol.

Motivated by the need to develop strategies to reduce the socio-economic impacts of climate variability and change in the WAM the integrated European project AMMA ( aims to improve our knowledge and understanding of the WAM on daily-to-interannual timescales and thus improve our ability to forecast the weather and climate in the West African region.


Projects at IMK

Projects in the working group "Weather Systems: Modeling and hazard analysis" 

Projects in the working group „Land Surfaces and Boundary Layer"

Projects in the working group „Aerosols, Trace Gases and Climate Processes"



Abdou K., Parker D. J., Brooks B., Kalthoff N., Lebel T. (2010): The diurnal cycle of lower boundary-layer wind in the West African monsoon. Q.J.R.M.S. 135. DOI: 10.1002/qj.536

Leonhard Gantner, Norbert Kalthoff (2009): Sensitivity of a modelled life cycle of a mesoscale convective system to soil conditions over West Africa. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc. 136 (s1), 471-482 DOI: 10.1002/qj.425

C. M. Grams, S. C. Jones, J. H. Marsham, D. J. Parker, J. M. Haywood, V. Heuveline (2009): The Atlantic inflow to the Saharan heat low: observations and modelling. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136(s1), 125-140. DOI: 10.1002/qj.429

Guichard F., Asencio N., Peugeot C., Bock O., Redelsperger J-L., Cui X., Garvert M., Lamptey B., Orlandi E., Sander J., Fierli F., Gaertner M-A., Jones S.C., Lafore J-P., Morse A., Nuret M., Boone A., Balsamo G., de Rosnay P., Decharme B., Harris P.P., Bergès J.-C. (2009): An intercomparison of simulated rainfall and evapotranspiration associated with a mesoscale convective system over West Africa. Weather and Forecasting: In Press. DOI: 10.1175/2009WAF2222250.1

M. Kohler, N. Kalthoff, C. Kottmeier (2009): The impact of soil moisture modifications on CBL characteristics in West Africa: A case-study from the AMMA campaign. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136(s1), 442-455. DOI: 10.1002/qj.430

Marsham, J. H, Grams, C.M., Mühr, B. (2009): Photographs of dust uplift from small-scale atmospheric features. RMetS, Weather, 64 (7), 180-181. DOI: 10.1002/wea.390

Sander, N., Jones, S. C. (2008): Diagnostic measures for assessing numerical forecasts of African Easterly Waves, Meteorol. Z., 17, 2, 209-220 DOI: 10.1127/0941-2948/2008/0269

Schwendike, J., and S. C. Jones (2009): Convection in an African Easterly Wave over West Africa and the eastern Atlantic: a model case study of Helene (2006). Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136(s1), 364-396. DOI: 10.1002/qj.566

Schwendike, J., Kalthoff, N., Kohler, M., 2010: The impact of mesoscale convective systems on the surface and boundary layer structure in West Africa: case studies from the AMMA campaign 2006. Quart. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 136, 566-582. DOI: 10.1002/qj.599

Stanelle, T., Vogel, B.,Vogel, H., Bäumer, D., and Kottmeier, Ch. (2010): Feedback between dust particles and atmospheric processes over West Africa in March 2006 and June 2007. Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 7553–7599.


Dissertations and Diploma Theses


Juliane Schwendike (2010): Konvektive Systeme über Westafrika und dem Atlantik in der selben African Easterly Wave 

Stanelle Tanja (2009): Wechselwirkungen von Mineralstaubpartikeln mit thermodynamischen und dynamischen Prozessen in der Atmosphäre über Westafrika

Diploma Theses

Adler, Bianca (2010): Der Einfluss von Landoberflächeninhomogenitäten auf die Auslösung und Entwicklung eines mesoskaligen konvektiven Systems: Eine budgetbasierte Modellanalyse

Schmidberger, Manuel (2010): Der Transport von Mineralstaub und die Wechselwirkung zwischen Strahlung und Dynamik - eine Modellstudie über Westafrika im Juni 2006

Grams, Christian (2008): Der "Atlantic Inflow": Atmosphäre-Land-See Wechselwirkung am südwestlichen Rand des Sahara-Hitzetiefs

Hofheinz, Peggy (2008): Auslösebedingungen und tageszeitliche Entwicklung von Konvektion während des Westafrikanischen Monsuns 2006

Truckenmüller, Meike (2008): Mesoskalige konvektive Systeme während des Westafrikanischen Monsuns: Analyse der Messdaten und Modellergebnisse der AMMA-Episode SOP2

Heidt, Stephanie (2006): Simulation konvektiver Episoden im tropischen Westafrika mit dem Lokal-Modell des Deutschen Wetterdienstes

Sander, Julia (2006): Untersuchung von Vorhersagen des Lokal-Modells (DWD) in der AMMA "DRY-Run" Periode

Sander, Nicole (2006): Modellierung von "African Easterly Waves" und deren Weiterentwicklung zu tropischen Wirbelstürmen mit dem Lokal-Modell des DWD