Nigeria: Beware of False Rainfall Onset, NiMet Warns Famers

A woman works on her farm in Nigeria (file photo).
13 March 2023

Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has warned farmers to beware of false rainfall onset as the raining season commences.

NiMet stated that farmers in Abuja and some north central states who have experienced some rainfall in the last two weeks should not commence with planting crops as it is false onset.

The director-general of NiMet, Prof. Mansur Matazu, who stated this in Abuja, said the rains that we have witnessed in Abuja and the environs are just a false onset and don't represent the commencement of the rainy season.

According to him, "What happened in Abuja is a false onset as it was predicted in our Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) which we categorized as pre-onset activities. However, extreme southern coastal states like Akwa Ibom State, Bayelsa, and a few other states have already reached their onset which we predicted was starting from March 3rd.

"But for Abuja, it is pre-onset activities that are temporary. Farmers should use the opportunity to do land clearing and pre-raining activities. The onset for FCT is predicted to be from late April to early May depending on the local council."

This is even as NiMet has warned pilots and the general public to be wary of thunderstorms and other hazardous weather events.

NiMet, in a statement by its spokesman, Muntari Ibrahim, said, "NiMet predicted rainfall onset to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country during the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP). The onset is expected to start from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa-Ibom in early March, progressively followed by the inland states and the Central states."

The statement also stated that the recent thunderstorms recorded over parts of the coastal and inland states showed that the agency's prediction is on-point, reliable and accurate.

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