• Flight cancellation, bird strikes likely


‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja


The Nigerian Meteorological Agency has issued an alert on dust-hazy weather condition from Tuesday to Thursday.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Tuesday in Abuja predicted dust haze, in moderate horizontal visibility of 2000m-5000m over Northern states such as Maiduguri, Yobe, Kastina, Kano, Kaduna, Gombe, Bauchi and Jigawa States.

This is contained in a statement signed by the General Manager Public Relations NiMet, Muntari Ibrahim.

According to NiMet, sunny and hazy with visibility range of 5km-7km is expected in other Northern states including North-Central states as well.

Equally, it predicted that the weather condition will persist for the next 3 days with observed gradual increase of the Day-Time Temperature.

The dry season is a period of no rainfall in the North and a period of little or no rainfall in the South. It is characterized by dust particles, harmattan cold especially at night, high day-time temperature values, fog occurrences, hazy condition and associated health related risks such as meningitis, respiratory illnesses and more.

The climate of Nigeria is characterized by two distinct seasons. The rainy season and the Dry season. The rainy season usually last between late February and Early November in the South with a little break between late July and Mid-August, while it lasts between late May to early Mid October in the North. Beyond this period, between the end of rainy season and the beginning of the next rainy season is the dry season, which is what is unfolding.

On the impact of the dust-hazy, the statement reads in part: “NiMet advises stakeholders and indeed the general public that places where visibility is impaired by Dust Haze, motorists should drive cautiously.

“People with respiratory issues should apply necessary caution, especially for out-door activities. Airline operators are also advised to get updated weather reports from NiMet offices for effective planning of their operations, stressing that with the warmer temperatures, there are higher chances of clear air turbulence. Hot weather result in longer distance on the runway to generate enough lift for flight take-off. This increases the fuel consumption and requires adequate planning by operators.

“During the dry season, there could be increased chances of bird strike due to influx of migratory birds. This constitutes hazard to flight operations.

“Motorists are also advised to adhere to recommended tyre pressure by the manufacturers especially during the hot days to safeguard against tyre burst. With reduced visibilities, flight delays or cancellations, in compliance with safety regulations may not be unexpected.”