The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has predicted that Nigeria would experience earlier than normal onset of rainfall, normal duration and normal cessation for 2018.
The Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, disclosed this at the public presentation of the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) in Abuja.
The theme for the year is ‘Seasonal Climate Forecasting for Sustainable Development’.
Mashi disclosed that dry spells might be more frequent during the rainy season as well as severe 10 to 18 days in some parts of the extreme North.
He added the ‘Little Dry Season’ popularly known as August break might be pronounced in parts of the Southern States.
According to him, these are risk factors for farmers in the affected areas and have to be carefully and scientifically managed.
Mashi said that the expected normal rainfall in parts of the country did not rule out the possibility of isolated flash floods due to high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially in flood prone areas.
He urged farmers and other stakeholders to get in touch with NiMet to access meteorological information and updates during the growing season.
“Generally, the forecast indicates a normal-to-earlier than normal onset, normal cessation and normal rainfall amounts in many parts of the country.
“Also, dry spells during the rainy season may be more frequent and severe (10-18 days) in some parts of the extreme North.
“The ‘Little Dry Season’ or (August break) in parts of the South are expected to be pronounced.
“It is necessary to state that the expected normal rainfall in parts of the country does not rule out the possibility of isolated flash floods due to high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially in places that are naturally prone to flooding.
“It is also important to note that in every season, dry spells occur and in certain cases, it leads to crop losses.
“In this regard, I wish to urge our farmers and other stakeholders to get in touch with NiMet to access Meteorological information and updates within the growing season,” he said.
Mashi said the presentation of SRP was in line with NiMet’s statutory responsibility of providing weather and climate services for activities in all sectors of the economy.
He stated that the impact of climate variability and change were evident to all Nigerians as manifested in the 2017 rainy season in which many areas were subjected to floods and property damaged.
He said the weather and climate data produced by NiMet were critical for combating Climate Change through adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Mr Bernard Gomez, Representative of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), West and Central Africa, urged the Federal Government to continue to support NiMet to deliver on its mandate.
Gomez also called for more investment in both material and human resources to enable the agency to deliver accurate and timely climate information.
He also commended NiMet for its support for other West African countries in the provision of meteorological services.