13 March 2018

Nigeria: NiMet Predicts Normal Rainfall in 2018

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted normal amount rainfall in 2018 in most parts of the country, even as some parts of the country may experience flood.

This was disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday by the Director General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi during the unveiling of the 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP).

To mitigate the negative impact of climate change, the Agency advised members of the public plant trees which would contribute to improving rainfall pattern and performance.

Parts of the statement of the DG's speech noted that "Generally, the forecast indicates a normal to earlier than normal onset, normal cessation and normal rainfall amounts in many parts of the country.

"Also dry spells during the rainy season may be more frequent and severe which is between 10-18 days in some parts of the extreme North, while the little dry season or August break in parts of the South are expected to be pronounced.

These are risk factors for farmers in the affected areas and has to be carefully and scientifically managed.

"It is necessary to state that the expected 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.

"It is also important to note that in every season, dry spells occur and in certain cases, it leads to crop losses"

On how the prediction will affect farmers, NiMet boss said farmers should supplement water stress with irrigation.

In his words, "Farmers around Sokoto, Katsina, Yobe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano and Borno are advised to source for early maturing and drought resistant varieties of seed to avoid waste of resources.

"The potential moisture availability, during the onset period will not be sufficient for plant growth and development. Early cessation in areas such as Jos, Ibi, and Ilorin are likely to create water stress, therefore there is need to supplement with irrigation".

He however urged farmers and other stakeholders to get in touch with NiMet to access meteorological information and updates within the growing season.


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