….Advise farmers on soil-moisture conservation techniques
By Miriam Humbe
The Nigerian Metrological Agency, (NiMet), on Tuesday, made public the 2020 Seasonal rainfall Prediction with the onset of the growing season expected to be ‘near-normal to earlier than normal in most parts of the country’ with the earliest onset date likely to occur on the 24 of February around the coastal zone of the south-south states while states like Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno are predicted to likely have their onset from 2 nd June, 2020.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who spoke during the presentation of the 2020 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) and the 2019 State of the Climate Bulletin presented the 2020 Rainfall Predictions themed: “The Role of Climate Information for Decision making in a changing climate” as follows:
Cessation: A ‘normal to later than normal’ cessation is expected across the country. The earliest cessation date of around 26 th September 2020 is expected around Katsina and the northern parts of Sokoto while the latest cessation date is expected on the 28 December, 2020 over the Niger-Delta region.
Length of Growing Season: ‘A normal to longer than normal length of season’ is generally predicted across the country. In the year 2020, the length of growing season is expected to span 110-160 days in the Sahelian region of the north and 210-280 days in the south.
Rainfall Amount: A ‘normal to above normal’ rainfall is expected generally in the country. It is expected that total rainfall amounts will range from 400mm in the north to about 3000mm in the south.
Pre- Onset Rainfall (False Onset): Before the full establishment of the onset of the planting season over the various ecological zones, a couple of rainfall events are expected to occur, this could be enormous and tend to give a false start of the season. Such rainfall events are not uncommon; however, their frequency seems to be on the rise. Some forcing functions have been observed to be likely responsible and will be monitored carefully and keep Nigerians informed. Farmers should therefore avoid early planting during this period to avoid losses.
Dry spells: That a severe dry spell that may last up to 10 to 21 days is expected in the following States: Niger, Bauchi, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Yobe and Borno in the months of June and July which may last between 2-3 weeks after the onset. Farmers should adopt soil-moisture conservation techniques to avoid crop losses during this period.
Flash Floods: The normal to near normal rainfall pattern in the country does not rule out the possibility of isolated flash floods due to increasing high intensity rainfall at the peak of the season, especially in areas that are naturally prone to flooding.
He commended the management and Staff of NiMet for continuously improving the quality of its services, sustaining the momentum of timely presentation of SRP within January every year and winning the confidence of Nigerians.
“You should put more effort in sustaining this achievement as Nigerians already look forward to this vital product every year”, he said.