Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency on Tuesday released its 2018 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction and predicted that some cities  would be hit by floods this year.

According to NIMET in its 2018 SRP unveiled in Abuja, the country will experience earlier than normal rainfall and pockets of dry spells in some other locations.

It added that the Federal Capital Territory, Calabar in Cross River State, Gombe State, Niger State and others would experience flooding this year.

The agency further warned that flooding episodes might be high in Abuja, parts of Gombe, Yelwa Bida in Niger State and places along the Rivers Niger and Benue, with an expected rainfall amount ranging from 800 to1,600mm, while rainfall levels above 3,100mm are likely in Eket, Calabar and places along the coast of the South-East.

On dry spells, the agency noted that it might be more frequent and severe, ranging from 10 to 18 days in some parts of the far North, while the little dry season or August break in the South would be very pronounced.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who unveiled the 2018 SRP, noted that the SRP predicted that the onset of rainfall would begin towards the end of February in the South and late June in the far North.

The report, however, stated that early onset of rainfall was expected in Calabar, Eket, Ado Ekiti, Akure, Lafia, Makurdi, Bauchi, Kaduna and Sokoto, while rainfall cessation dates in the North-West would be as early as September 28 and would progress southwards till December.

NIMET predicted that the length of the growing season would range from 117 days in the extreme North to 287 days in the South, adding that the growing season was expected to be normal in most places and longer than normal in Ikom, Ibi, Abuja, Jos, Bida, and Yelwa.

It predicted a normal rainfall season for most parts of the country, adding that the least amount of rainfall would range from 400 to800mm in the extreme North, such as Kastina, Nguru and Sokoto.

NIMET’s Director-General, Prof. Sani Mashi, urged farmers in Sokoto, Kastina, Yobe, Zamfara, Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano, and Borno states to source for early maturing and drought resistant seeds in order to avoid wasting resources.

He said farmers in Yelwa, Bida, Abuja were advised not to plant early because of the predicted late onset dates for the 2018 growing season.

Mashi added that above normal temperature in March in the North-East was likely to cause vehicle tyre burst during the day, hence there was need for motorists to exercise caution.

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