The Sahel is the transitional semi-arid region of North Africa south of the Sahara desert between 12.5°N and 17.5°N. Its inhabitants are sensitive to rainfall amounts in the wet season (typically July to September), with droughts causing significant hardship. Rainfall is very variable from year to year and decade to decade. The Soudan is the belt immediately to the south of the Sahel between 12.5°N and 10°N. While the wet season is wetter on average than in the Sahel, it also has considerable variability. The Guinea Coast is a humid tropical region south of 10°N encompassing the countries of Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and western Nigeria. Forecasts of the most likely of five rainfall categories (very wet, wet, average, dry or very dry) are produced using dynamical forecast models. Each of these categories has occurred in one-fifth of past years.
Issued July 2014
Last updated: 15 July 2014