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Nigerian Meteorological Agency Addresses Hazy Conditions in the Country

Posted by Simon Adebola on March 30, 2010

An unusual hazy weather condition in parts of the country have been giving people serious cause for concern, but a senior official of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency [NIMET] says there is no need to press the panic button just yet, describing the situation as part of a change in the climate around the world.

For days now, the weather in most parts of the country has been hazy reducing visibility drastically and even disrupting flight operations in some cases.

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has advised persons with respiratory problems to avoid prolong contact with dust.

Several passengers have been affected as flights at airports in Lagos and the northern states have either been cancelled or rescheduled to the poor weather condition.

An official of Aero Contractors who did not want his name in print said bad weather led to flight cancellations, a situation which also affected other airlines.

Chanchangi Airline Spokesman, Ibrahim Adamu, explained that foggy weather had affected the airline’s flights to Kaduna and Abuja on Friday but flights were operated on Saturday and Sunday.

He said flights were cancelled or rescheduled for safety reasons, and urged passengers to bear with the airline as the decision taken was for their own good. Hazy weather reduces visibility and makes it impossible for pilots to land or take off.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, the NCAA has alerted airlines on the adverse weather conditions and has asked all airline operators and pilots to adhere strictly to aviation directives in order to ensure safety in the airspace.

The NCAA says it is monitoring the situation closely with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, but that passengers should expect flight cancellations.

Meanwhile, series of text messages have been spreading in the country over the changing weather, thereby giving growing concern over the climate change in the country.

One of these disturbing text messages which reads “Be careful from 20-28th of March, there is possibility of an ACIDIC RAIN. It rains normally but it may cause skin cancer it you expose yourself to it. So ALERT your dear ones. This information is from NASA in USA. DO Not Neglect. Please forward this to your friends, better be cautious than sorry”, has created fear and raised questions among people in the country due to the current haze and weather change.

The Deputy General Manager, directorate of weather forecasting services, Nigerian Meteorological Agency [NIMET], Mr Sampson Wilson has refuted the negative reports saying there is no cause for alarm. The haze in some parts of the country is just part of the climate change which has affected many countries all over the world.

It could be recalled that NIMET recently reported a foggy atmosphere which has led to deteriorating horizontal visibility across Nigeria, attributed to the dust haze emanating from the Sahara desert.

NIMET also alluded to the presence of a significant build up of surface pressure in the Sahara and Sahel region.
This resulted in the lifting of considerable quantity of dust particles into the atmosphere, transported southwards, causing reduction in horizontal visibility in the North North zone.

Cities where horizontal visibility has reduced to less than 800 metres include Maiduguri, Potiskum, Nguru, and Kano.
NIMET said it is “closely monitoring and keeping track of the current episode of the transportation of dust particles from the source regions into the country and the likely effects of the dust haze phenomenon.”

It added that further southward transportation of the dust particles will be slow, due to the prevailing light winds, while the dust particles are expected to stagnate over the affected areas as they slowly spread westwards and southwards to places such as Yola, Gombe, Bauchi, Jos, Kaduna, and Sokoto.

Other cities such as Abuja, Makurdi, Minna, and Ilorin in the North Central are expected to experience a slight increase in the concentration of dust particles, but with a mild effect on horizontal visibility.

The South will only experience a slight reduction in humidity due to the southward extension of the influence of the current dust haze, according to the NIMET.

Nigeria is a member of the Group on Earth Observation and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency is a member of the International Astronautical Federation.

This article was originally posted on channelstv.com on 22March 2010

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5 Responses to “Nigerian Meteorological Agency Addresses Hazy Conditions in the Country”

  1. Mrs Anokwu Agatha oluchukwu said

    Just wish to know the subseqent climate change effects in Nigeria thru this site. thank u

  2. […] Nigerian Meteorological Agency Addresses Hazy Conditions in the … […]

  3. AKANDE SAMUEL OLUMIDE said

    i believe Nigerians need to be educated and enlightened enough by seasoned (indigenous) meteorologists instead of looking out for weather forecast outside our tropical region.

  4. Simon Adebola said

    Sorry I do not work with Agency.

  5. Roofing Edmonton…

    […]Nigerian Meteorological Agency Addresses Hazy Conditions in the Country « i initiative[…]…

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