Expect little rain, dry spell and flashes of flooding ― FG warns farmers

FEDERAL government has warned farmers in Nigeria that rainfall in 2019 will start late, however, there will be periods of lengthy dry spell and flash flooding in some part of the country.

Making this projections at the public presentation of 2019 Season Rainfall Prediction ( SRP ) organized by Nigerian Meteorological Agency ( NiMet )  in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika  cautioned farmers to gather information about weather in order to avoid incurring losses.

Sirika explained that “generally, the forecast indicates that the country is expected to experience below normal- to- normal rainfall season”.

“The rains are expected to start late especially in the northern parts of the country while the south-eastern zone as well as the Coastal areas will experience a normal onset of the rains. While most of the Northern States will experience earlier than normal end growing season. Shorter length of the growing season is predicted for most parts of the country.

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He warned that,  “dry spells during the rainy season will be more frequent and severe (10-18 days) in some parts of the extreme North around June and July, while the ‘Little Dry Season’ or (August break) in parts of the South is expected to be pronounced.

“These are risk factors for farmers in the affected areas and has to be carefully and scientifically managed.  It is necessary to state that the expected below normal- normal rainfall in parts of the Country does not rule out the possibility of isolated flash floods due to high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially in places that are naturally prone to flooding”.

Sirika said “it is also important to note that in every season, dry spells occur and in certain cases, it leads to crop losses. In this regard, i wish to urge our farmers and other stakeholders to get in touch with NiMet to access Meteorological advisories and updates within the growing season” he advised.

In his presentation, the Director General of (NiMet), Prof. Abubakar Mashi explained that, “the predicted 2019 onset of the growing season is likely to be delayed in most part of the country as a result of the El Nino signal”.

“The earliest onset date predicted to be from March 7th around the coastal region of the South -South.  The onset dates are expected to change as we move northwards with areas around Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kastina, Duste, Potiskum, Kano and Nguru predicted to have onset from June 16th”.

He said ” the country is expected to experience late onset in most parts, but this delay is likely to be more evident in the northern states. However, normal onset is expected over coastal and some South -east states.”.

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