January rains not result of climate change, Nigeria Meteorological Agency says

Agency says rainy season has not begun.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, said on Saturday that the rain which fell on Friday evening in Abuja and its environs was not the beginning of rainy season.

A statement quoted the Director-General of the agency, Anthony Anuforom, explaining that “A sudden weather change occurred over Abuja around 4 p.m. due to a rapid northward movement of the line of demarcation between the south-westerly winds. The winds brought moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and the dry north-easterly winds from the Sahara Desert.”

Mr. Anuforom noted that this led to the influx of moisture to the inland, resulting in the thunderstorms with strong winds.

“This type of weather occasionally occurs in January when the atmosphere becomes unstable and there is enough moisture in the atmosphere. The unusual heat experienced in Abuja and environs in the last couple of days was connected with the moisture build-up in the atmosphere. It is important to state that this is not the beginning of 2014 rainy season in Abuja as the condition is only temporary and is expected to return to normal very soon.”

The director also noted that the development was not as a result of climate change, adding that the usual January weather would still prevail.

The statement explained that the thunderstorm was forecast by NiMet at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as early as 4 a.m. on Friday and the information was disseminated to airline operators.

It also said the updates were issued periodically and transmitted to pilots via the appropriate channels in accordance with standard procedures.

According to the statement, the agency will closely monitor the weather developments continuously and provide further update as it evolves.

NiMet has concluded preparation of the Seasonal Weather Outlook for 2014 to be presented to the public soon.



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