Inter-Relationships Between Groundnut Yield in Senegal, Interannual Rainfall Variability and Sea-Surface Temperatures
Groundnut production strongly contributes to Senegal's economy. Interannual variations of groundnut yield for the country as a whole, and their relationship with rainfall amounts, are examined for the 31-yr period 1960-1990. It is shown that on that scale, and after removing decadal trends, almost half of the variance is explained by rainfall variability, especially that of the early part of the rainy season (July-August). Given the high spatial coherence of seasonal rainfall in the region, teleconnections with global- and regional-scale climate dynamics, including sea-surface temperatures, are assessed. Though some features are similar to the rest of the Sahel, others are more specific, such as the higher sensitivity to ENSO (El-Niño Southern Oscillation) and to coupled ocean-atmosphere climate anomalies over the nearby Tropical North Atlantic Ocean, which are associated to the latitudinal location of the ITCZ over the ocean. Lag-correlations with pre-season SST are also discussed. Some of these teleconnections are used to define preliminary empirical models for rainfall and groundnut yield prediction for Senegal.