Past and Future Precipitation Trend Analysis for the City of Niamey (Niger): An Overview

Bigi, V.; Pezzoli, A.; Rosso, M.
Published in: Climate 2018, 6, 73
Date: September 5, 2018

Despite the interest in detecting the extremes of climate in the West African Sahel, few studies have been specifically conducted on the Republic of Niger. This research focuses on past, present, and future precipitation trends for the city of Niamey through the combined assessment of WMO precipitation indices using RClimDex and the Standardized Precipitation Index. Past daily precipitation data were derived from a 60-year reconstructed meteorological dataset for the Niamey airport station for the period of 1950–2009 and validated through comparison with an observed time series at Niamey airport (1980–2012). Precipitation analysis confirms the literature’s findings, in particular, a decreasing trend in total precipitation over the period of 1950–2009, and a positive trend for data that spans over the period of 1980–2009, suggesting a precipitation recovery after the dry epoch (1968–1985), even if the deficit with the wettest years in the period of 1950–1968 has not been made up. Furthermore, WATCH-Forcing-Data-ERA-Interim projections, elaborated under RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 socio-economic conditions, show that precipitation will increase in the future. Therefore, the Nigerien population will benefit from increased rainfall, but will also have to cope with the exacerbation of both flood and drought risks due to a great interannual variability that can positively or negatively influence water availability.