According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the weather is a major cause of delays in the National Airspace System (NAS), accounting for approximately 70% of all delays. Furthermore, the weather is a significant contributor to aviation accidents and incidents, with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reporting that it is a primary contributing factor in 23% of all accidents. The overall impact of weather on the aviation industry results in an estimated cost of $3 billion for accident damage, injuries, delays, and unexpected operating costs.
This highlights the importance placed on weather in the aviation industry, and why Nigeria has seen improvements in air safety with effective regulation and better weather prediction, thanks to skilled personnel and improved weather equipment. This was emphasized during the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) event held in Abuja, where Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, and the Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, urged stakeholders and the public to take action on weather-related matters by paying attention to early weather warnings. Sirika emphasized during his keynote address that one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate-induced disasters is through the provision of early warning services, noting that NiMet has been a leader in providing early warning services for all weather and climate-sensitive activities throughout the country.
However, Sirika emphasized that early warnings must be followed by prompt action in order to effectively reduce the risk of disasters in Nigeria. This sentiment was reinforced by the widespread flooding that occurred in 2022 across multiple states in Nigeria, causing the destruction of over 569,000 hectares of farmland, the deaths of over 600 people, and the displacement of over 1.3 million individuals in 34 out of 36 states. In response to this disaster, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the formation of a Presidential Steering Committee and Technical Working Group on the Prevention of Flood Disasters in Nigeria, demonstrating the administration’s commitment to addressing climate and climate-related issues.
“NiMet is committed to providing accurate, timely, reliable, and actionable weather and climate predictions in Nigeria,” said Sirika. He revealed that the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction was developed by a team of experts and stakeholders, and was based on high-quality in-situ weather data, extensive experience, and reliable prediction tools. Sirika added that the agency has adopted the concept of “co-production” for the predictions, with a focus on the socio-economic implications, and that the agency is also providing early warning services to other countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Malawi, and Niger. He also mentioned that the 2023 SCP document has been translated into three major languages: Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo, to increase accessibility and encourage wider use within Nigeria. Additionally, Sirika highlighted that the agency prepares a wide range of publications and products and that the 2023 SCP edition includes day and night temperature forecasts for May to capture variability in recent climate and to cover the hot season in Nigeria, which usually occurs between February and May.
The importance of weather and its impact on the industry is a focus in Nigeria, as many stakeholders believe that the country has improved in air safety thanks to effective regulation and better weather prediction, enabled by skilled personnel and advanced weather equipment. The 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) event, held in Abuja, emphasized the need for early warning and action on weather-related matters to mitigate climate-induced disasters. Aviation Minister, Sen. Hadi Sirika, and the Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, urged the public and stakeholders to take heed of early weather warnings.
Sirika highlighted that NiMet has been a leader in providing Early Warning Services for all weather and climate-sensitive activities in the country. He also highlighted the devastating consequences of the 2022 flood that led to the creation of a Presidential Steering Committee to prevent future disasters, further emphasizing the administration’s commitment to addressing climate issues. The 2023 SCP, prepared by a team of experts and stakeholders, includes an impact-based forecast and advisories and has been translated into three major Nigerian languages for wider accessibility.
The SCP predicts an earlier-than-average onset of rainfall in most parts of the country, with some northern and southern regions experiencing a delayed onset. An early end of the season is also predicted in parts of the south and north. The NiMet DG, Prof. Matazu, urged all to embrace early action and follow in-season updates for maximum success and reduced risk in activities.
“I would like to express my gratitude to all of our partners and collaborators, including those in government agencies, development partners, academia, and research institutes, among others. Without your contributions, our services would not be as comprehensive. Your support, particularly in the co-production process of this crucial national document, is greatly appreciated,” the NiMet Director General, Prof. Mansur Matazu, said.
Source: ThisDay Live