The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has released its Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) with a largely normal rainfall pattern for 2022.
However, the prediction shows that the far states in the North will experience delayed onset of rain and may also experience longer dry spell (drought) within the cropping period.
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Launching the SCP and presenting the prediction highlights, the Minister of Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, said it was critical farmers leveraged the prediction to make informed decisions so as not to experience losses.
He said the prediction showed that, “The earliest onset of the planting season (beginning of planting activities) is expected about the 28th February, 2022, in the coastal parts of the country, while the onset of rainfall is expected to occur between April and May in the central states, and eventually within June to July in the Northern states.”
He noted that, “The onset of the planting season is predicted to be normal over most parts of Nigeria with a few areas having it earlier while some areas having it delayed.”
On rainfall cessation, he said, “Dates across most parts of the county in 2022 are predicted to be near the long-term average conditions. The window between the onset and cessation dates can be regarded as safe periods for the planting of various crops in accordance with their cropping calendars. The growing season is predicted to last between 250 and 300 days in Southern parts of the country, and 100 to 200 days in the North.”
He indicated further that, “Areas around Kwara, Oyo, Lagos, Nasarawa, Benue, Bayelsa and Rivers are likely to experience shorter than normal length of growing season.
“However, prolonged length of growing season is anticipated in parts of Plateau, Kaduna, Edo and Imo states.”
For the annual total rainfall, he said the prediction indicated that the annual rainfall amount was expected to be normal in most parts of the country.
He said, “The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 390mm in the North to over 2,790mm in the South.
“Annual rainfall ranging from 390mm to 790mm is anticipated in some parts of Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Katsina and Sokoto states. The central states such as Nasarawa, Taraba, Kogi, Benue and the FCT, as well as Ekiti, Osun and Oyo, are anticipated to record 1,190mm to 1,590mm of total rainfall.
“From May to August, 2022, dry spells of different degrees of severity, ranging from mild to severe, are predicted for different parts of the country. Moderate dry spell persisting for up to 15 days is predicted over parts of Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Ekiti, Kwara, Niger, FCT, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Gombe. Parts of Kebbi, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe, Borno, Nasarawa and Plateau states may experience a severe dry spell that could persist for up to 20 days or longer in June 2022.”
Commenting, the DG of MiMet, Prof Mansur Bako Matazu, said the challenges of variability in climate vis-à-vis global warming, which had in recent times given rise to high rainfall amounts occurring within a short duration, had made flash flood episodes more frequent.
Prof matazu said, “Several roads were decimated in 2021, among which are the Maiwa Bridge on the Bauchi-Kano highway in Ningi Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
“The single-day rainfall event of 16th July, 2021, over Lagos metropolis which flooded a large portion of Lagos Island, including the popular Balogun Market increased severity of dry spells episodes in parts of Jigawa, Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe and Nasarawa states.”
“Thus with such recurring extreme events, the SCP becomes a veritable tool to notify relevant stakeholders and emergency managers of the anticipated rainfall pattern within the season for necessary mitigation plans.”