Abuja — The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) on Friday predicted normal rainfall in Nigeria during the year except in Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger and Kwara states, which might experience excessive rainfall.
The Director-General of NIMET, Dr Anthony Anuforom, made the information known at the public presentation of the 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) and Nigeria Climate Review Bulletin in Abuja.
He said the rainfall pattern in most parts of Nigeria was likely to be similar to that of 2012.
"However, some areas in the North-western parts of the country, which also fall within the catchment area of River Niger, the total rainfall predicted for 2013 may exceed that of 2012.
"Rainfall for 2013 is predicted to be normal over large areas of the country. The expected changes in the annual rainfall are well below normal in Abeokuta and above normal over Ibadan and Yelwa areas.
"The predicted rainfall for the Northwest areas of Sokoto , Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and environs is likely to be above normal in comparison to 2012," he said.
Anuforom advised relevant authorities to use NIMET's updates issued regularly to control possible adverse impacts.
He said the forecast was not automatic as the predictions could change due to climate change.
Anuforom said the volume of rainfall for the year would range from 420 cubic metres spread over 120 days in the extreme North-East to 2,980 cubic metres over a period of 290 days.
"These forecasts are statements of probability and are based on the available scientific knowledge and data.
"Man's knowledge is still limited and, therefore, some margin of error within tolerable limits is not unusual.
"The conditions that determine the rainfall pattern over Nigeria have become more variable due to the effects of climate change and global warming.
"This is a big challenge for atmospheric scientists all over the world. NIMET will continue to monitor the trend in all parts of the country and publish updates as the rainy season progresses," Anuforom said.
He explained that the early release of the forecast was to create good lead-time for adequate preparation against risks and hazards associated with weather and climate extremes.
The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, who was represented by Mr Clement Dosunmu, the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, said weather information was important to humanity.
She urged NIMET to fulfil to its mandate by ensuring that the information got to the end users in time.
"The information in these publications are useful for planning, decision-making and policy formulation, especially in those 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," Oduah said. (NAN)