The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) said on Tuesday its 2013 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) impacted positively on the nation’s economy as flooding and its attendant losses was averted.

The Director-General of NIMET, Dr Anthony Anuforom, said this  in Abuja, that following the rainfall forecast for the year, government at all levels and other relevant stakeholders took the necessary steps to avoid flooding.

He said such actions indicated that the government and Nigerians had embraced its weather forecasts and that without the forecasts; the resultant flooding would have affected lives and property of Nigerians.

“I am glad that the seasonal rainfall predictions are becoming more and more acceptable by Nigerians, not only farmers, are beginning to take them a lot more seriously.

“And you can see that this year we did not have so much tales of woe.

“Because, based on the seasonal rainfall prediction we issued, Governments, individuals, and organizations took the necessary precautions to make sure that flood did not affect people.

“So the seasonal rainfall prediction is producing the positive impact we expect: saving lives and property.

“This is the kind of socio-economic positive impact we set to achieve through seasonal rainfall prediction.“

Speaking on the present weather pattern, Anuforom said that the country was presently experiencing a transition period from rainy season to dry or harmattan season

He said that in places such as Lagos, Port Harcourt and other states in the zone, the atmosphere was becoming drier, while the rains were becoming less frequent.

The director-general added that even when it rained, it might not be intense.

Anuforom said the atmosphere in places as Abuja and other Northern states was getting hotter, adding, “at least we are recording as much as two to three degrees Celsius above what it was before the rainy season.

He attributed the rise in atmospheric condition to the reduction in clouds, making radiation from the sun to get through to the surface of the earth and heat it up.

Anuforom explained that at night, the atmosphere got cooler, because the clouds were no longer there “and when the radiation comes, it gets re-radiated back into space.’’

According to him, this makes the environment to be cooler during the night and warm during the day.

He said that most of the Northern states were beginning to experience hash conditions due to dust in the atmosphere.  The director-general said this was because the “source region’’ in Nigeria was becoming more active.

The D-G added that the dust picked up from the source region mainly from Niger Republic and Chad was being transported southwards into Nigeria.

“This is the condition we expect at this time of the year, these conditions such as high pressure and dusty atmosphere usually have health implications.

“People, especially those living with respiratory track disease are advised to take extra precautionary measures,’’ Anuforom said.

NIMET had in February predicted that there was likely to be heavy rainfall in the North West areas of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and environs.

“We have just released the rainfall prediction for 2013.

“The summary is that based on the conditions that were prevalent at the time of making the prediction, the amount of rainfall for the North West areas of Sokoto, Kebbi, Niger, Kwara and environs is likely to be above normal in comparison to 2012.

“In 2013, the length of rainy season is predicted to be normal in most parts of the North and South.

“However, longer than normal length of the season is likely for most of the central parts of the country and other parts of Yobe, Northern Cross River and parts of the South Western states.

“Relevant authorities are advised to use NIMET’s updates issued regularly to control possible adverse impact, “ Anuforom said.

Source (NAN)

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