Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has advised farmers across the country to exercise restraint in early planting as this may affect their crops.

The agency however, added that other farming activities such as land clearing can commence while awaiting the onset of rainfall.

NiMet in a statement issued in Abuja by its General Manager, Public Relations Unit, Mr. Muntari Ibrahim, stressed that the increase in temperatures will likely continue especially in the North and the citizenry especially rural dwellers resident in north and central parts of the country are advised to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and stay in cool and ventilated environment; “this will reduce heat stress and prevent incidences of dehydration and meningitis epidemics which has already been reported in some places.”

According to him, ‘This is not the onset of rainfall season in any part of the country and farmers are advised to exercise restraint in early planting as this may affect their crops. Other farming activities such as land clearing can commence while awaiting the onset of rainfall.’

He said: “The month of February is climatologically considered as a transmission period from dry season to rainfall season in the Southern States, while the North is usually characterised by a mixture of hazy and hot conditions.

“During the early part of February 2018, there was a sigh of relief from the harmattan dust haze which was followed by high temperatures in most places. The high Temperature provided the necessary energy and coupled with Northward surge in the rain bearing winds from the South Atlantic Ocean gave the favorable condition for the rains experienced in some parts of the country recently.”

Furthermore, he disclosed that, there is usually an inter-play between the rain bearing winds from the ocean and the dry trade winds from the Sahara which are being controlled by the general atmospheric flow and when certain conditions are met, the type of rains experienced recently will occur, adding, “NiMet will continue to monitor the weather and climate conditions as they unfold and will keep the general public informed regularly.”