THE rainfall recorded in some parts of Nigeria from January 10 to 24 is not an indication that the rainy season has started, Director-General of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforom has said.
"What happened is that there is a system that passes over the Mediterranean; there is a low pressure that passed over there that now pulled up the Inter Tropical Discontinuity line (ITD). The weather system in Nigeria is determined by the position of ITD over the country. ITD shows the demarcation between the continental air mark that carries dust and dryness and the maritime air mass that carries a lot of moisture.
"The maritime air mass shifts in from the Atlantic Ocean whereas the continental air mass sweeps across Sahara Desert and where they meet is what we call the ITD. The position of ITD during hamattan is normally down south around six degrees north. That is what gives us dryness, dust and cold.
"Something happened that the ITD now moved north. By around January 16 it was observed that the ITD has gone as high as 13 degrees north and moisture was being sucked in from the ocean. So, that moisture in that atmosphere was what gave us that rain that fell. It is not permanent, because the ITD will still recede. In the next few days, the ITD will move back southward and you will still see the harmattan features again," he said.
Weekly Trust investigation revealed that rain started falling this year on January 10 in Ilorin and Ikeja while on January 21 it rained in Ondo, Ado Ekiti and Ikeja. On January 22 and 24 it rained in Ijebu Ode, Warri, Abuja, Akure, Ondo, Ijebu Ode and earlier in Jos.