The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has said there would be earlier than the long-term average rainfall in most parts of the country.
The agency however said parts of Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo and Rivers are likely to experience delayed onset of rainfall.
The Minister of Aviation Sen. Hadi Sirika stated these in Abuja during the launch of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP).
According to the prediction, the earliest onset is likely to occur on or around the 2nd of March, 2023 in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and environs.
The agency also stated that strong windstorms across the country and sandstorms in the extreme northern states can occur before the onset of rainfall.
Highlighting the prediction, Sirika said: “The annual total rainfall is predicted to be normal to above normal in most parts of the country.
“The rainfall onset date is predicted to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country.
“However, parts of Katsina, Zamfara, Kano, Jigawa, and Yobe in the north and Cross River, Ebonyi, Imo, and Rivers in the south are likely to experience a delayed onset.”
On when the rain will start and its intensity, the Minister said: “The onset dates will range from 2nd March to 7th July 2023.
“The onset is expected to become established in early March from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa Ibom; in April for the Inland States of the South; in May around the central States and around July in the northern States.
“Parts of Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Bauchi, Jigawa, Kaduna, and FCT are likely to observe below normal to near normal annual rainfall amounts.
“The annual rainfall amount is expected to range from 420 mm in the far northernmost parts to 3253 mm in the coastal areas.”
On the likelihood of dry spells, the Minister said: “Dry spell occurrences have characterised our seasons in recent years. In 2023, we should also prepare for its occurrence between June and early July as dry spell lasting between 15 to 21 days is in the forecast, especially from the central parts of the country to the North.
“When compared to the last years, the little dry season (August Break) for 2023 is expected to be less intense. It is expected to last between 14 and 20 days starting from late July, especially over the Southwest of the country.”
On when the rains will stop, he said: “An early End of Season (EoS) is predicted over parts Osun, Ondo, Edo, Delta, Imo, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ogun, Lagos, Yobe, Adamawa, Niger, Nasarawa and Kogi.
“However, an extended rainfall season is predicted over parts of Gombe, Kaduna, Kwara, Enugu, Anambra, western Ogun, and Lagos.
“The end of season period is expected to range from the 26th of September till 25th of December”.