By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has advised farmers not to rush into early farming with the pockets of rain witnessed in some parts of the country.
The Director-General of NiMet, Prof. Sani Mashi, said this in a statement signed by NiMet’s General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Muntari Ibrahim on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the pockets of rains witnessed does not signal onset of raining season in the country.
According to Mashi, there is usually an inter-play between rain bearing winds from the ocean and the dry trade winds from the Sahara which are being controlled by the general atmospheric flow.
He explained that when certain conditions meet, the type of rains experienced recently would occur.
“However, this is not the onset of rainfall season in any part of the country, and farmers are advised to exercise restraint in early planting as this may affect their crops.
“Other farming activities such as land clearing can commence, while awaiting the onset of rainfall.
“The increase in temperatures will likely continue especially in the North.
“The citizenry, especially rural dwellers resident in North and Central parts of the country are advised to avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and stay in cool and ventilated environment.
“This will reduce heat stress and prevent incidences of dehydration and meningitis epidemics which have already been reported in some places,” he said.
Mashi further explained that the month of February was climatologically considered as a transmission period from dry season to rainfall season in the Southern States.
He added that the North was usually characterised by a mixture of hazy and hot conditions.
The NiMet boss said that during the early part of February, there was a sigh of relief from the harmattan dust haze which was followed by high temperatures in most places.
“The high temperature provided the necessary energy and coupled with Northward surge in the rain bearing winds from the South Atlantic Ocean gave the favourable condition for the rains experienced in some parts of the country recently.
“NiMet will continue to monitor the weather and climate conditions as they unfold and will keep the general public informed regularly,’’ he added.