NiMet Forecast Shows Delayed Onset of Rain for Nigeria’s North Central States

A Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) forecast has revealed that the onset of rain will be delayed in some parts of the country, especially the North-central states, in its 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP).

This is even as the agency’s report hinted that a normal onset is likely to occur over the northern state of Borno and southern states like Abia, and Akwa Ibom states when compared to their long-term averages.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo,  read the NiMET’s forecast during the public presentation of the 2024 SCP organised by the agency, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Keyamo in the address noted that the launch of the 2024 SCPsignified an important contribution to the ministry’s journey towards a more resilient and sustainable future.

“I fully understand the impacts of weather on the aviation industry. Flight safety and efficient air transport operations are hugely dependent on accurate weather forecasts, advisories, and early warnings.

“Through continuous investments in meteorological weather stations, satellite data, and Numerical Weather Prediction (NWP), NiMet has continued to enhance aviation-specific weather services.

“The aviation industry looks forward to continued collaboration with NiMet and the meteorological community, to utilise weather information for planning flight operations, aircraft routing, and scheduling among other applications,” he said.

He said that rainfall patterns in West Africa are closely linked to changes in the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) over the tropical Pacific Ocean, meaning that accurate rainfall predictions for Nigeria depend on the complex interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean.

“The 2024 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) uses a standard approach that considers the teleconnection between the SST anomalies in both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the rainfall regime over Nigeria,” he said.

Keyamo further revealed that an early end of the season is predicted for parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi, Kano, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa Taraba, Gombe, Bauchi, Cross River, Ebonyi, Ogun, and Lagos states.

However, he explained that ablate cessation is predicted over the southern states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ondo, Ekiti, and parts of Edo, Delta, Ogun, Oyo, Kogi, Kwara, FCT, Niger, and Kaduna.

“The annual rainfall amount is predicted to be below normal over parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Bauchi, Kano, Kebbi, Gombe, Plateau, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Delta and Bayelsa states when compared to their long term normal.

“However, other parts of the country are likely to observe normal to above-normal annual rainfall amounts. Most parts of the country are expected to experience a shorter length of season, however, Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa-Ibom are likely to experience a longer length of season when compared with their mean,” he said.

 Kasim Sumaina