Nigeria: Meteorological Agency Warns Pilots, Passengers of Thunderstorms as Rain Season Begins

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), has warned pilots, passengers, and the general public to be cautious of thunderstorms and other weather hazards as the rainy season commences in some parts of the country.

NiMET General Manager on Public Relations, Muntari Ibrahim made this known in a statement on Saturday, explaining that the expected thunderstorms was in accordance with its 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction.

“NiMet predicted rainfall onset to be earlier than the long-term average in most parts of the country during the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP).

“The onset is expected to start from the coastal states of Bayelsa, Rivers, and Akwa-Ibom in early March, progressively followed by the inland states and the Central states,” It read.

The statement noted that the recent thunderstorms recorded in parts of the coastal and inland states showed that the agency’s prediction was reliable and accurate.

NiMet cautioned that the thunderstorms could lead to turbulence, lightning strikes, strong winds, heavy rainfall, downdraught, microburst, and hailstones.

“All of these pose significant threats to safety of lives and property.

“The effects of thunderstorms are more hazardous to the aviation industry, particularly aircraft operations, and passengers. Thunderstorms can also cause delays, diversion, and cancellations of flights, as aircraft are often grounded in the face of severe weather,” the statement further said.

The agency assured pilots, the aviation industry, and airport users that weather monitoring systems, thunder detectors, satellite receiving ground-stations and Automatic Weather System (AWS) have been installed across the airports and other stations nationwide as part of measures to mitigate the effects of thunderstorms to the aviation industry.

The agency also stated that it had developed different products and services to help track thunderstorms and attendant hazards.

It noted that the pilot briefing rooms are always available for services.

The agency advised pilots and airline operators to exercise caution during flight operations during adverse weather due to the commencement of the rainy season.

“The rains which are currently prevalent in the Southern parts of Nigeria and occasionally around the central states, are usually accompanied by severe thunderstorms which are bound to affect air navigation.

“Pilots and flight crew members should obtain adequate departure, en route, and destination weather information and briefing from NiMet offices before flight operations for effective planning in their air navigation operations,” the statement added.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *