NiMet predicts dry spell condition over North in June
Abuja, May 1, 2015 (NAN) The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted that the northern part of the country would experience a prolonged dry spell weather conditions in the month of June 2015.
Dr Anthony Anuforom, the Director-General, NiMet, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja that the trend was predicted in the 2015 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP).
Anuforom said the June dry spell period, which would be a critical growing period in the country, was expected to last for a period of 10 consecutive days or more without rainfall.
He added that the prediction showed that the condition would occur in parts of the northern states of Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, JIgawa, Yobe, Borno and Adamawa.
Anuforom advised that farmers in the region should be ready to support the commencement of effective agriculture at that time with irrigation.
‘’If you remember, during the SRP presentation, we did predict that most parts of the country would experience prolonged dry spell and that is what is playing out.
‘’And talking about what it portends or the implication, agriculture sector is one key sector that the dry condition should be of concern to farmers.
‘’And if it occurs in June, it is a critical period for agriculture because that is the time the crops planted will begin to grow and stabilize.’’
The director-general explained that the recent harmattan dust haze being witnessed mainly in the North and central parts of the country up to April 20 was caused by a “combination of surface pressure tightening”.
He added that the strong winds at the dust source regions of Chad and Niger that often flow into northern Nigeria during the early period of the year, was also responsible.
According to him, several such dust plumes have been raised from January up to April 20 and these are expected to keep horizontal visibility to moderate levels in the dusty weather.
‘’During the harmattan, what happens is that dust is emitted into the atmosphere and it happens when there is what we call the tightening of the pressure in the dust source region.
‘’That is when the atmospheric pressure becomes very intense and when it becomes intense, it sort of carries dust into the atmosphere combined with the direction of the wind, the dust is now blown southwards.
‘’This is because the dust that we experience here in Nigeria comes from Niger and Chad mainly.
‘’So when the pressure in that area becomes tightened, it leads to the optic of dust; the dust is emitted into the atmosphere and then the wind blows it southwards towards us in Nigeria.’’
Anuforom further explained that the situation normally occurred during the normal harmattan season from around November to January or February as the case may be.
He said that what attracted attention this time was that the season extended into the month of April, adding that it was nothing out of the ordinary because it had happened in the past.
‘’From our record, we had had that kind of situation around 2009 and 2010 when we had that harmattan-like condition.’’
According to Anuforom, the central areas of Plateau, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Niger and the FCT, have recorded considerable cumulative rainfall during the first quarter of the year.
He said that the condition ensured the moderation of the high day-time temperatures in March and April.
The director-general said that stated that such weather condition had health implication as it could lead to respiratory conditions, especially for those that are asthmatic, among others.
According to him, the high emission of dust particles into the atmosphere can exacerbate such health condition and it is not also good for the eyes.
NAN recalls that NiMet had predicted in its annual SRP that the 2015 weather and climate conditions would be generally drier than normal due to the warmer Oceanic Sea Surface temperature anomalies.
The situation, he said would be evidenced by the lack of rains, hotter-than-normal condition, increased frequency of dust haze raised and transported into the country.
NiMet also predicted the late onset of the growing season in many parts of the country during the year as a direct influence of these weather-stable conditions.
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