The Federal government has disclosed that the rain for the 2023 planting season would be returning on the 2nd of March in some parts of the country.
Speaking at the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) organized by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika said the “rainfall onset date is predicted to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country.
“However, 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.
Sirika explained that “the Onset is expected to become established in early March from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom; in April for the Inland States of the South; in May around the Central States and around July in the northern States. The onset dates will range from 2nd March to 7th July 2023.
“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.
“However, an extended rainfall season is predicted over parts of Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu, Anambra, western Ogun, and Lagos. The End of Season period is expected to range from the 26th of September till the 25th of December.
“The length of the growing season in most places in the country is 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 said “the annual total rainfall is predicted to be Normal to above normal in most parts of the country. However, parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna and FCT are likely to observe below-normal to near-normal annual rainfall amounts.
“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 a dry spell lasting between 15 to 21 days is in the forecast, especially from the central parts of the country to the North.
“When compared to the last years, the little dry season (August Break) for 2023 is expected to be less intense. It is expected to last between 14 and 20 days starting from late July, especially over the Southwest of the country.
“Other forecasts such as the temperature for the first 5 months of the year, Malaria and meningitis forecast along with the socio-economic implications of these forecasts are contained in explicit details in the documents”.
The Minister further stated that “as weather is dynamic so is the climate (i.e., Climate variability). Hence, I assure you that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency will ensure everything is done to bring updates to you should there be changes in any of the expected climatic parameters.
In his welcome address, the Director General of NiMet, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu called on stakeholders to follow up with the Agency for more updates.
He also tasked stakeholders with early actions to curtail predicted situations as disclosed by the SCP.
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