By Gabriel Agbeja
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has advised aviation stakeholders to take precautionary measures during onset of rainfall for smooth and safe operations, particularly in the North.
The NiMet Director-General, Prof. Mansur Matazu, gave the advice on Friday in Abuja while briefing newsmen.
According to him, activities accompanied with onset of the rainy season like thunderstorms, wind shear, squall lines, microburst and flash floods can flood runways, disrupt landing and take-off.
Matazu further said that such activities could cause delays in flights and affect the sensors along the runways.
“We want the pilots especially to be very cautious and adhere to our precautionary measures. They are there as the standard of operations and precautions. You know aviation is all about safety.
“We use the pilot platform to get feedback and get to know what they experienced at certain levels of atmosphere. Airline operators should take this precaution very serious as well.
“Last but not the least, the passengers should please be patient with airline operators especially when there are flights delays, diversions or cancellations,” he said.
Matazu said the Northern zone was expected to experience onset between May and June, with the Northern fringes around Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno likely to have onset between June 14 and June 29.
According to him, NiMet will monitor the changes in climate and provide the update for weather forecast alert and advance information for plant purposes.
“In extreme weather events, we provide early warning for damages, loss of lives and damage to property.
“So, North central are approaching their onset period and some states in the North will soon start witnessing the onset which is occasionally showers associated with thunderstorms and high intensity wind,” he said.