Fleur Couvreaux - The West African Climate: boundary-layer regimes, onset of convection, clouds and heatwaves

Event type: 
29 November 2017
2.00 - 3.00pm

Climate Change Research Centre, Seminar Room, Mathews Building 4th floor, UNSW, Sydney

Fleur Couvreaux
CNRM, Meteo-France & CNRS, Toulouse, France
Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW, Australia

In this seminar, Fleur will give an overview of the work she has been doing with collaborators on different aspects of the West African Climate using the observations collected during the AMMA field campaign. She will focus both on the understanding of the processes as well as on the representation of those different aspects in models.
After a brief description of this climate, she will first present the different boundary-layer regimes encountered in this area and show some deficiencies in models in representing the coupling between the surface/atmosphere and clouds. Then, she will give some results on the initiation of local convection in this particular unfavourable environment and show an evaluation of the deep convection triggering in models. In a third part, she will give an overview of the cloud types present over West Africa and their radiative effects with a zoom on the mid-level clouds. Eventually, she will present the characteristics of Heat Waves that occur during Spring in the Sahel and how using a simple surface-boundary layer model the importance of water vapour for the nocturnal heat waves can be shown.


Brief biography: Fleur defended the PhD in 2005 on the variability of the water vapour in the boundary layer using observations and large-eddy simulations. She then started a research position in Meteo-France (the French weather bureau) with a main focus on convective processes. Particularly, she uses large-eddy simulations both for improving the understanding of the convective boundary-layer processes as well as to provide guidance for the parameterization development. Fleur has been involved in different projects including the AMMA field campaign that took place in West Africa. Fleur is also the leader of a project funded by the French research agency on the improvement of the representation of shallow clouds in models.