Nigeria

Nigerians should expect more floods – Climatologist

Based on the pattern of global increasing temperatures due to climate change and saturated soils, the possibility of experiencing more floods within the country is quite likely. Therefore, members of the public especially those living in flood prone areas, and relevant authorities should be prepared.

This was the summary a general prognosis of what could happen in the rest of the year, by a climatologist, Professor Theophilus Odekunle of the Department of Geography, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.

He said, “Generally, in the Southwest, we have double peaks. In the remaining part of the country we have single peak, because in those areas the August break does not manifest clearly. It manifests clearly only in Southwestern Nigeria. The first peak is around June/July.”

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He said, “There can be a definite analysis that will take in certain parameters for us to make prognosis into the future,” but added that, “we can talk about general prognosis.”

“Scientifically, in the era of increasing global temperature, we expect the hydrological cycle to be intensified. There is rapid aspiration, rapid condensation, and huge precipitation. With a hydrological cycle that is intensified, this will result in torrential downpour.”

Speaking further he explained that in an area that has already experienced peak rainfall, “the soil is already wet. So, every place water can percolate into is already saturated. Therefore, if you have rainfall similar to what happened in the first peak, it can also lead to flood. This is simply because the soil is not dry as before. Even in areas where the rains have not generated flood before in the peak periods of June/July, if there is rain of similar magnitude, the result can be floods.”

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Professor Odekunle added, “Don’t forget also that the rainfall of the second season is dominated by squalls. Almost all squalls are accompanied by fast moving winds and thunder and lightning. They come from the east and move westward.”

He said these rains were heavy and flooding could thereby result.

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