Abuja – The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), said on Saturday that the rain which fell on Friday evening in FCT and its environs was not the beginning of rainy season.
A statement from the agency said “a sudden weather change occurred over Abuja around 4 p.m. due to a rapid northward movement of the line of demarcation between the south-westerly winds.
“The winds brought moisture from the Atlantic Ocean and the dry north-easterly winds from the Sahara Desert’’, the statement quoted the Director-General of the agency, Dr Anthony Anuforom, as explaining.
Anuforom noted that this led to the influx of moisture to the inland, 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 in the last couple of days was connected with the moisture build-up in the atmosphere
“It is important to state that this is not the beginning of 2014 rainy season in Abuja as the condition is only temporary and is expected to return to normal very soon.
“The development was not as a result of climate change; the usual January weather will still prevail over the area’’, Anuforom said in the statement.
The statement explained that the thunderstorm was forecast by NiMet at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as early as 4 a.m on Friday and the information was disseminated to airline operators.
It also said the updates were issued periodically and transmitted to pilots via the appropriate channels in accordance with standard procedures.
According to the statement, the agency will closely monitor the weather developments continuously and provide further update as it evolves.
It said NiMet had concluded preparation of the Seasonal Weather Outlook for 2014 to be presented to the public soon.
Residents of Abuja on Friday evening expressed mixed feelings as the nation’s capital city recorded its first rain in 2014.
The light rain which started at about 4 p.m., lasted till about 7.30 p.m. in different parts of the territory.
A resident, Mr John Afamefuna, said the early rain was a welcome development.
Afamefuna said it was a long awaited rain crucial to calm the city’s hot climate.
“It is nice we are experiencing the light showers, at least to cushion the effect of the dry and dusty harmattan’’, Afamefuna said.
Another resident, Dr Magnus Okechi, said the showers could suspend the dusty particles that transmit air-borne diseases, although temporarily.
“The effect of dust to the eyes can result to impaired vision and if not handled properly can lead to total blindness,’’ Okechi added.
Mrs Florence Ojoko, a business woman, said the early rain was a sign to prepare for challenges of the wet season.
“You know the rainy season comes with its challenges and as such I need to prepare ahead of time.
“I need to get my umbrella ready and provide rain coats for my children as well as ensure my car wipers are functioning properly ready for the wet season’’, Ojoko stressed.
Mr Patrick Agbo, Manager, Afro Asia Garden, Wuse 2, said efforts were in place to ensure there were no leaking roofs to guarantee customers’ comfort and boost sales during the wet season.
Mr Adebayo Femi, a civil servant, said that the first rain usually heralded heat.
Femi urged the power sector to ensure improved power generation and supply to reduce the effect of the hot weather.
The Chairman of Nigerian Environmental Society, Mr Akinrele Olusegun, however, said the dry season was not yet over.
Olusegun said that the annual early rains in Abuja usually ushered in hot temperature up to middle of March.
Olusegun urged the people to desist from burning the bushes, illegal mining, defecating in open spaces and other activities that degrade the environment.
He said there was need for people to show concern toward protecting the environment by engaging in environmentally-friendly activities at all times. (NAN)