Nigeria’s 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction

On 2 February, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) held an event in Abuja for the launch of the 2021 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) to provide information on expected climate patterns in relation to the various sectors of the country. The live-streamed event was attended by state governors, several ministers and parliamentarians as well as other top government dignitaries, academics, traditional rulers, farmers and students. NiMet also used the event to release the 2020 State of the Climate in Nigeria report and to launched a Mobile Weather App.

The opening remarks ofthe Director General of NiMet and Permanent Representative of Nigeria with the WMO, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi highlighted the theme, “supporting the economy to cope with the challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic in Nigeria.” He stated that the theme was a fulfilment of the Agency’s mandate to provide timely, accurate weather and climate forecasts and advisories against possible adverse and extreme events that may affect various sectors of the economy.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, provided a summary of the SCP: a normal to above-normal annual rainfall amount is expected in most of the country, except in parts of the northwest where below-normal rainfall totals are envisaged. The rainfall onset, which signifies the growing season, is predicted to be normal to earlier than normal and is expected to range between 110 to 300 days in the extreme north and south respectively. The Minister described NiMet as one of the best meteorological agencies in Africa owing to its continuous strive for excellence in meeting national, regional and global expectations in weather and climate service delivery to mitigate the increasing trend of uncertainties regarding weather and the changing climate.

In a goodwill message, WMO Secretary-General Professor Taalas spoke briefly on the importance of climate reports and highlighted the WMO interventions planned for developing countries. The Secretary-General recognized the contributions of NiMet to the WMO community and called on Agency to extend more technical support to weaker national meteorological services in the region.

Through WMO, NiMet accesses data products from various World Meteorological Centres, international initiatives such as the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), National Meteorological Services such as the Met Office (UK), Météo-France, Environment and Climate Change Canada, , Deutscher Wetterdienst (German Weather Service, DWD), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and projects such as the WMO Severe Weather Forecasting Demonstration Project (SWFDP). These support the development of the Seasonal Climate Prediction in Nigeria on an annual basis.

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