THE Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) has warned residents across 24 states and airline operators of thunderstorms and severe turbulence in the coming days.
The concerned states in the northern region include Kaduna, Gombe, Kebbi, Taraba, Adamawa, Bauchi, and Borno.
In its forecast outlook released at the weekend, the agency also listed Plateau, Niger, Benue, Kwara, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the north-central part of the country.
“It should be predominantly cloudy over the inland and the coastal cities in the morning hours with chances of a few thunderstorms over Lagos, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom.
“Later in the day, thunderstorms are envisaged over parts of Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Ekiti, Abia, Enugu, Rivers, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom.”
The Director-General of the NIMET Mansur Matazu also announced that the rainy season would witness electrical charges in the atmosphere that could result in thunderstorms.
According to Matazu, the bad weather would affect flight operations in the aviation sector as it could cause severe turbulences, especially at touchdown and certain flying levels.
He warned pilots to adhere to precautionary measures produced by the agency and issued to the Air Traffic Controllers.
“Microbursts are mini-thunderstorms that emanate from the cloud because of the low temperature of the cloud.
“These microbursts which happen around the airports cause wind shear problems and that is why we have an alert system by which we issue alerts to pilots through the Air Traffic Controllers,” Matazu stated.
“Now, the negative implications of these weather issues include the fact that they cause severe turbulence during descent or at certain flying levels.
“You can also experience clear air turbulence and it happens during the onset period of the rainy season.”
NIMET usually releases annual Seasonal Rainfall Pattern (SRP), also known as Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) reports, to prepare Nigerians ahead of precipitations in the country.
In the 2021 SCP, the nation is expected to witness a volume of rainfall from 400 millimeters (mm) in the north to over 3000mm in the south.
Described as an invisible enemy to pilots, wind shear is one of the causes of air crashes across the globe.
It was reported as being responsible for the death of 137 of 163 passengers aboard a Delta Airline in an accident that occurred on August 2, 1985.