Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom
By Yemi Akinsuyi
The Director General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom has warned that based on prevalent conditions that characterised this year’s Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), more rainfall, which might eventually lead to more floods should be expected in some parts of the country this year.
Anuforom identified Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and other neighbouring states as top on priority list, adding that there will be lower amount of rainfall especially for the Southwest compared to the devastating flood of 2012.
The DG disclosed this during the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) organised by the agency at the weekend in Abuja.
Anuforom said: “The summary is that based on the conditions that are prevalent at the time of making the prediction, we are predicting that the rainfall pattern in 2013 will not be different, very different or significantly different from what we saw in 2012.
“However, some areas especially in the western flank of the country covering Sokoto State, Kebbi State, parts of Kwara State and parts of Niger State are likely to have higher rainfall than last year. “We have some other areas, particularly from western part of the country may witness slightly lower amount of rainfall.”
Speaking on the anticipated measure of rain, the DG said the North-eastern states might experience huge amount of rainfall amounting to about 420 millimetres within 120 days while the South should expect 2,900 millimetres of rain within 290 days.
According to him, the predictions are based on the “Neutral Phase of the ENSO phenomenon.” The ENSO phenomenon also known as Southern Oscillation refers to variations in the temperature of the surface of the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean and in air surface pressure in the tropical western Pacific.
However, the NIMET boss said early rains are expected in Niger, Anambra, Delta, Northern Cross River, parts of Ogun and Ondo States.
“Ranging from the Northeast flank where you have the huge rainfall usually, we are expecting about 420 millimetres of rainfall spread over 120 days down to the south where we expect about 2, 900 millimetres of rainfall spread over 290 days,” he added.
Anoforom, however, pledged to review the predictions following the dynamism of weather condition.
“Based on the 2013 SRP, longer than the normal length of rainy season is likely for most of the central parts of the country and other parts of Yobe State, northern Cross River and parts of the South-Western States.
“NIMET has the mandate to monitor weather and climate in Nigeria and provide metrological information for sustainable development and safety of life and property in the country,” he said.
The Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah said it was in pursuance of this mandate that NIMET publishes the SRP and the Weather Review Bulletin.
Oduah, who was represented by the acting permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr. Clement Dosunmu noted that information in the publications are useful for planning, decision-making and policy formulation, especially in sectors of the economy that are sensitive to weather.
“It is expected that the early release of the 2013 SRP will enable all stakeholders apply the information in planning and executing their activities in such a way as to reduce vulnerability to climate extremes.”
Impressed by the presentation, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodinma called on Nigerians to take the predictions with all the seriousness it deserves in order to avoid a repeat of the 2012 flood disaster.
He disclosed that the National Assembly (NASS) would amend the NIMET Act in order to make it compulsory for all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) procure and implement the annual weather predictions.
In his remarks, the agency’s Director of Weather Forecasting Service, Dr. Ifeanyi Nnodu restated that the expected rainfall and temperature patterns on the country in 2013 have implications for various sectors of the economy.
He therefore advised relevant authorities to use the updates regularly to control possible adverse impact.