Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has predicted that most parts of the country will experience less than normal, delayed and early cessation of rainfall than previous years across most parts of the country.
While underscoring its yearly rainfall prediction as critical to the nation’s economic growth and development, the Director General of the agency, Mr. Anthony Anuforom, said the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP), is part of the agency’s meteorological early warning system, which contains rainfall and temperature outlook for the year as well as the possible socio-economic implications of the projected weather patterns.
He however explained the rainfall season in the year would be characterised by late onset especially in the Northern parts of the country, adding that this year’s SRP presentation will focus on the impact of weather variability and climate change on transportation infrastructure and agriculture in the country.
The key message of the prediction, Anuforom said is that most parts of Nigeria are likely to experience delayed onset, early cessation and less-than-normal rainfall amounts as well as dry spells.
He said: “This is attributed to the effect of the El Nino that has persisted since 2015, many parts of the country are less likely to experience delayed onset, early cessation and dry spells during the rainy season. Of particular concern is the fact that the dry spell may set in from May to June/July when farmers may have planted their crops. If not well managed, this could result in crop failure.”
According to him, the provision and dissemination of the full climate services is beyond the capacity of any single organisation like NIMET, adding that it calls for collaboration among MDAs and across disciplinary boundaries in the country.
Furthermore, he said global warming and climate change are real, their manifestations in form unusual, violent weather phenomena are evident and constitute threats to sustainable development.
NIMET’s SRP, he also noted, is part of the agency’s meteorological early warning system, containing rainfall and temperature outlook for the year as well as the possible socio-economic implications of the projected weather patterns
The DG said little dry season, popularly referred to as August break, would be pronounced in parts of the South, and stated that “these are risks factors for farmers in the affected areas and has to be carefully and scientifically managed.”
Anuforom explained: “It is necessary to state that the expected lower-than-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.”
Continuing, he stated that the production and presentation of the SRP was an annual activity undertaken by the agency in providing weather and climate services for activities in all sectors of the economy and advising government on all aspects of meteorology.
According to him, the SRP contained rainfall and temperature outlook for 2016, as well as the possible socio-economic implications of the projected weather patterns.
He said: “It is designed to provide relevant information for planning and execution of projects and programmes in various sectors of the economy, especially those that are sensitive to weather, agriculture, air transportation, infrastructure construction, telecommunication, water resources are particularly sensitive to weather variability.”