Statement by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on the Rainfall and Strong wind Over Abuja on Friday 24th January, 2014
A sudden weather change occurred over Abuja around 4.00 p.m. today Friday, 24th January, 2014 and brought the first rainfall accompanied by strong winds of 37 knots (67 km/hr) in some parts of the city.
That weather condition was due to a rapid northward movement of the line of demarcation between the South-westerly winds that bring moisture from the Atlantic ocean and the dry North-easterly winds from the Sahara desert.
This led to the influx of moisture inland up to about latitude 10oN (i.e. north of Abuja) 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 over the last couple of days is connected with the moisture build up in the atmosphere.
The thunderstorm was forecasted by NiMet forecast office at Abuja airport as early as 4.00 a.m. and the information immediately disseminated to airlines. Updates were also issued periodically and transmitted to pilots through the appropriate channel in accordance with standard procedures.
It is important to state that this is not the onset (or beginning) of 2014 rainy season in Abuja as the condition is only temporary and is expected to return to normal very soon. The observed weather development is not as a result of Climate Change. The usual January weather will still prevail over the area.
NiMet will closely monitor the weather developments continuously and provide further update as it evolves.
We seize this opportunity to inform the public that NiMet has concluded the preparation of the Seasonal Weather Outlook for 2014. This will soon be presented to the Nigerian Public.
Dr. Anthony Anuforom
Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Headquarters,
National Weather Forecasting and Climate Research Centre
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport