The Director General of the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr Anthony Anuforo, has said that in spite of the rainfall experienced in different parts of the country this January, the rainy season has not started.
Anuforom made this known on Friday in Abuja during a joint press conference with the Managing Director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, saying the current rainfall was the interplay of weather forces that disrupted the climatic conditions at the time, adding that in the next few days the normal situation which is characterised by harmattan at this period would soon return.
"The rainy season has not started; please tell Nigerians. On January 10, there was rain in Ilorin; Ikeja on January 21, in Ondo; then again at Ikeja; on January 22 it rained at Ijebu Ode and on January 22 it rained in Abuja and in one of those days, it rained in Jos. That of Abuja was about 2.5 millimetres deep. That was what we measured at the airport here," the Director General explained.
He also explained that what happened was the interplay of weather forces that brought in the unusual rain into the country.
"What happened was that there was a system that developed, that passed over the Mediterranean. There was a low pressure that passed over there and pulled up the Inter tropical Discontinuity Line (ITD). The weather system in Nigeria is determined by the position of ITD over the country. The ITD shows the demarcation between the continental air mass that carries dust and dryness and the maritime air mass that carries a lot of moisture. Maritime air mass sweeps in from the Atlantic Ocean, whereas the continental air mass sweeps across the Sahara desert. Where they meet is what is called the ITD," he said.
He further explained that the position of ITD during harmattan is normally down south, so that the whole country is under the influence of the Sahara Desert.
"That is what gives us dryness, cold and dust. Something happened that the ITD now moved north. But about February 16, last year, it was observed that the ITD had gone as high as 13 degrees north which means that moisture was being swept in from the Ocean. So that moisture in the atmosphere is what gave rise to all those rains that happened. But this is not permanent. The ITD will still recede because the feature that caused that change is already passing."