The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on Tuesday predicted March 2nd as the beginning of 2023 raining season for most part of the country.
The agency in its 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) also disclosed that the month would mark the 2023 planting season in some parts of Nigeria.
Speaking at the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) organised by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said the, “rainfall onset date is predicted to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country.”
However, he noted that parts of Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, and Yobe in the north and Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo, and Rivers in the south were likely to experience delayed rainfall.
Sirika asserted that the onset date was expected to become established in early March from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom; in April for the inland states in the south; May for the central states and around July for the northern states.
“The onset dates will range from 2nd March to 7th July 2023.”
According to the Aviation Minister, “An early End of Season (EoS) is predicted over parts of the South (especially in Osun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and eastern parts of Ogun and Lagos) and parts of Yobe, Adamawa, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi.”
He added that an extended rainy season was predicted in parts of Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu, Anambra, western Ogun, and Lagos, stating that ‘The end of season period is expected to range from the 26th of September till 25th of December.”
He further maintained that the length of growing season in most places in the country was likely to be near the long-term average, except for some parts of the northern states such as Katsina, Jigawa, and Kano where shorter than the long-term average length of the growing season is anticipated.
“The season is expected to range from 84 to 283 days. Abuja and surrounding States are expected to witness between 170 and 230 days,” he added.
Continuing, he explained that the annual total rainfall was predicted to be from normal to above normal in most parts of the country.
However, parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna and FCT, were likely to observe below normal to near normal annual rainfall amounts.
He said: “The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 420 mm in the far northernmost parts to 3253 mm in the coastal areas.”
He also stated that the dry spell occurrences have, “characterised our seasons in recent years. In 2023, we should also prepare for its occurrence between June and early July as dry spell lasting between 15 to 21 days is in the forecast, especially from the central parts of the country to the north.”
“To our dear policy makers across all tiers of government, the 2023 SCP has been summarised in a booklet that is handy and highly informative. This summary is also available today for your kind attention and pick up.
“Now that early warning has been provided, I encourage us all to embrace early action for maximum benefits and sustainable national socio-economic development. By so doing, collectively we would have stayed through to the theme of this event: “Strengthening Climate Risk Early Warning Services for Improved Food Security and Disaster Risk Reduction in Nigeria,” Sirika concluded.
In his welcome address, the Director General of NiMet, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu called on stakeholders to follow up the agency for more updates.