2023 SCP: NiMet Predicts Early Onset of Rainfall, Severe Dry Spell in Northern, Central States

Thursday, February 2, 2023 - 14:25

ABUJA: The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has in its 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), disclosed that the rainfall Onset date is predicted to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country. 

The NiMet Director-General, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, who said this on Tuesday at the unveiling of the 2023 SCP, noted that the Onset dates for parts of Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kwara, Oyo, Ogun, and Lagos are likely to be near their long-term averages.

He, however, said that parts of Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa and Yobe in the north and Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo and Rivers in the south are likely to experience a delayed Onset.

“The Onset is expected to start from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Rivers and Akwa Ibom in early March and around June/July in the northern states such as Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, and Borno”, he disclosed.

Furthermore, the SCP predicted  that mild to moderate dry spells (8-16 days) will occur in April 2023 in the south after the Onset is established.

Following the establishment of the Onset in the north, a severe dry spell that is likely to last between 15 to 21 days or longer is predicted in June to early July in parts of the northern (Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Katsina, Yobe, Borno, Kano) and central States.

According to the NiMet boss, “Summary of the forecast is that this year is going to be a somewhat normal year unlike 2022 but with pockets of extreme events. Definitely, we have peak rainfall between July to September and in such times, because of high soil moisture, we expect flash floods around cities and we are also expecting riverine floods in those areas that are flood-prone”.

In the aspect of health, the SCP explained that high vigilance for malaria is anticipated in the coastal zone of the country as early as January 2023 and spreads northwards as the state progresses, covering up to parts of Taraba, Benue, Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states in north central zone of the country. 

Also, high vigilance for meningitis is anticipated over the extreme northeast of the country, covering most of Borno, Yobe and parts of Jigawa states, as early as January 2023, and as the year progresses, the area under high vigilance threshold extends southwards and reaches the maximum extent in March 2023.

The NiMet boss advised citizens and all government parastatals to use the  information contained in the SCP, adding that NiMet is also open for collaboration especially with state governments to downscale to give more clearance.

He also stated that uptake of the information will guarantee an increase in yield and productivity of about 35%, and reduce risks of extreme weather elements by about 95%, which he said, is very good.

“We hope and pray that Nigerians will take wheather information very seriously and apply such information into their planning purposes and with this, we are going to see improvement in productivity and disaster risk reduction which are more than 90% climate induced”, he said.