NiMet Predicts Near-normal Rainfall for Nigeria in 2020
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has released the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) to provide weather information to stakeholders in various sectors of the country. The Seasonal Rainfall Prediction is especially important to sectors such as agriculture, environment and water which provide support base and opportunities for the employment opportunities for millions of Nigerians. The report was presented to stakeholders at an event on January 21 in Abuja. The event witnessed a large number of dignitaries and stakeholders from various sectors. The Honourable Minister of Aviation presided over the event. Some dignitaries who witnessed the event include Honourable Ministers of Interior, Environment and Police Affairs; Legislative members of the Senate and House of Representatives were in attendance as well as Vice Chancellors of over 30 Universities. Other participants from various sectors including development partners, secondary schools and the media were in attendance.
In a goodwill message delivered by the WMO Representative for North, Central and West Africa, Mr. Bernard Gomez, he felicitated the efforts of NiMet in consistently providing stakeholders with timely, annual seasonal rainfall predictions. He urged the Nigerian Government to implement the National Framework for Climate Services in order to accelerate climate change mitigation and adaptation services at community level.
According to NiMet, rainfall onset in 2020 is expected be ‘near-normal to earlier than normal’ in most parts of the country. Rainfall onset is generally regarded as the start of the growing season for rain-fed agriculture. The earliest onset date forecasted for February 24 will occur around the coastal areas of South-South states. Rainfall onset in the northern fringes of the country will occur around June 2.
Rainfall cessation is inversely predicted in comparison with rainfall onset. The earliest predicted cessation date of September 26 will occur in the northern fringes of the country while the latest rainfall cessation date of December 28 will occur around the coastal areas of the southern parts of the country.
Rainfall amounts in the country is expected to be between 400mm in the Northern parts to over 3000mm in the Southern parts. Though the annual rainfall predicted is near normal for most parts of the country, the possibility of having rainfall anomalies in some parts of the country exists.
The length of the growing season for rain-fed agriculture will be between a range of 110 to 160 days in the northern parts and between 210 to 280 days in the southern parts. In addition, NiMet hinted about severe dry spells after rainfall onset of about 10 to 21 days which may likely occur in the months of June and July in the fringe northern states.
NiMet encouraged all stakeholders to maximize the utilisation of the Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) report in planning developmental activities around the country. Stakeholders in turn advocated that NiMet be supported to downscale the SRP to sub-national levels and translate it into various languages in order to effectively reach community dwellers.