NIMET projects earlier than normal onset of rainfall nationwide

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has projected that the country may experience near-normal to earlier than normal rainfall in most parts of the country.
The 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) disclosed that the earliest onset date would likely occur on February 24 around the coastal zone of the South-South while states like Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno are predicted to likely have their onset from June 2.
The SRP also projected normal to later than normal cessation across the country, indicating that earliest cessation date of around September 26, 2020 is expected around Katsina and the northern parts of Sokoto while the latest cessation date is expected on December 28, 2020 over the Niger Delta region.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during the 2020 SRP yesterday in Abuja, warned that before the full establishment of onset of the planting season over the various ecological zones, a couple of rainfall events are expected to occur, which would tend to give a false start of the season, urging farmers to avoid early planting to avoid losses.
NIMET said the length of the 2020 growing season is expected to be near-normal to longer than normal in most parts of the country, spanning between 116 days in the extreme North and over 300 days in the South, while places in the Middle Belt of the country, such as Benue, Kogi and Abuja, are anticipated to have between 200 to 250 days during the growing season.
It is expected that the country would have rainfall amounts from 400mm in the North to over 3000mm in the South and that places in the extreme North, such as Sokoto, Katsina, Yobe and Borno would have the least rainfall amounts within the range of 400-800mm.
The Minister said “Generally, the 2020 annual rainfall is predicted to be within the normal range for most places except for places around Katsina, which are likely to have below-normal rainfall amount”.
NIMET Director-General, Prof Abubakar Mashi, while presenting the SRP, said that the ENSO-neutral phase observed in December 2019 would most likely continue to dominate the country’s weather system until the first quarter of 2020 and extend to April and the same phase is expected to persist from May through July to September.
He disclosed that greater parts of the country are expected to record near average temperatures, but said there would be some areas that would experience temperature anomalies that are about two degrees Celsius above normal, especially places in the extreme North.
Mashi, therefore, urged policy-makers to take note of these periods and make adequate arrangements to prevent the outbreak of diseases that are probable in such areas.

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