Nigeria to experience shorter rainy season in 2014 – NIMET

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Tuesday predicted that Nigeria might experience shorter than normal rainy season in 2014.
The NiMet Director-General, Dr. Anthony Anuforom, said this at a news briefing in Abuja.
Anuforom made this known after the Supervising Minister for Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom, presented the 2014 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction.
Ortom presented the SRP, the 2013 Nigeria Climate Review Bulletin and unveiled the new logo of NiMet.
Anuforom said that 2014 rainfall in Nigeria was likely to be dominantly under the influence of “natural phase from January to July”.
He said that some parts of the country were expected to experience normal harmattan and hot season from January to April.
He, however, said that the greatest discomfort was expected in March to April over the extreme North.
According to him, rainfall onset dates will vary from the first week of March in Southern part of the country to late June in the far North.
He said rainfall in “most Eastern and Western parts were expected to be delayed for about a week.
However, he said the “onset of rainfall will be normal in Sokoto, Kano, Nguru, Potiskum, Gombe, Bauchi, Jos, Lafia, Bida, Oshogbo, Ijebu-Ode, Ilorin, Asaba, Enugu, Uyo, Port Harcourt and Calabar, covering about 40 per cent of the country”.
He added: “In 2014, the length of rainy season is predicted to vary between 100 days over the extreme North and 300 days over the coastal areas.
“Most parts of the country are predicted to have shorter length season.
“Longer than normal length of the season is likely over Iseyin and Calabar, while normal length is predicted over Abuja, Yola, Port Harcourt, Akure and Owerri.”
Anuforom said that annual rainfall amount was “predicted to range from 3000-300mm decreasing from South to Northernmost part”.
The director-general also predicted that most parts of the country would have below normal rainfall, adding that temperature generally would be high, particularly at night time.
He said that the performance of day time temperatures in March 2013 was low over the extreme North and North East.
Anuforom said rainfall performance was also generally good for that year except in few places where delayed onset and cessation were experienced.
He said in 2014, “night time temperatures are also predicted to be normal in most parts of the country, becoming warmest over the extreme North in March”.
According to him, April is expected to be colder than normal at night over the Western and Central parts of the country.
The director-general said that NiMet predicted August break, which occurs mainly in parts of the Southern states in Nigeria.
He said that it also covers forecasts for over 400 cities as against the less than 100 cities in 2013.
Anuforom said that NiMet had also included comfort index for hot season from January to April, adding that the index was relevant to sporting activities, outdoor events, human health and livestock production
He said: “The prediction is achieving higher and higher resolution because of the kind of support we enjoyed from government and this is indeed part of Mr. President’s Transformation Agenda on safety and security of citizens.”
He said that agricultural input should go beyond improved seedlings, fertiliser and machinery.
He said that climate information must be treated as the total package of true input to achieve improved agriculture and food security.
Anuforom said: “NiMet provides weather information.
“We are not agriculturalist, we are not farmers, it is now left for the specialist on agric extension service to take this prediction and interpret it to the farmers.”
Anuforom urges farmers to take advantage of the rainfall prediction and make use of early maturing species in their cropping during the shorter rainy season.
He also called on Nigerians and stakeholder to heed the 2014 prediction.
Ortom, who presented the SRP, said that the aviation sector looks forward to a secure and comfortable air transport in Nigeria.
He called on Nigerians to heed the prediction and make use of it.
“I was personally a victim in 2012 as a farmer because I did not heed and I ended up losing over N40 million worth of rice cultivation,” Ortom said.
Ortom said that the ministry would continue to support NiMet to ensure it carries out its duties

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