The climate of Nigeria is tropical and for more than half of the year, the popular song “It’s raining man” could stay stuck on your mind. Even though there are different climatic differences in various parts of the country, very high humidity and long rainy seasons are common to all of them. The wet season does not let things get drier from April to October, so let’s find out more about characteristics of rainy season in Nigeria.
Nigeria is split into four different climatic areas:
- The humid, sub-equatorial belt in the southern lowlands
- the cool climate in the high mountains
- the wet and very tropical in the middle of the country
- the tropical continental belt in the far north of Nigeria
The average rainfall along the coastline can vary from 430 cm in particular parts of the east and 180 cm in the west. In the central land, it comes up to 130 cm and only 50 cm in the upper north. The hot Harmattan wind is very dry and brings reddish and itchy dust from the Sahara desert. On the contrary, the southwestern wind carries only rainy weather.
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Nigeria enjoys the rainy, humid climate type. Due to its location on the north of the equator, Nigeria often gets only hot and wet weather conditions. The country has consistently high temperatures all year long and since the temperature varies only a bit, the rainfall brings a big change to the regions. The rain differentiates the seasons and literally becomes the only one most important factor in the climatic change in Nigerian regions. Rainfall usually depends on the two air masses which come to the country at different times.
Three rainy seasons in Nigeria
The rainfall climatic conditions in Nigeria make the seasons more obvious. The south and north get the biggest rainfalls. The three different rainy seasons which can be observed in Nigeria are long rainy season, short rainy season and wet season.
Long and heavy rainy season
This rainy season starts in late March and continues up to the end of July. The rainiest, peak period is in June and affects most parts of southern Nigeria. More than 85% humidity and wet rainy weather in most southern parts of Nigeria is observed during this season.
The long rainy period can be distinguished by thick clouds in the sky and excessively humid, wet weather. The most visible impact of the long rainy period can be noticed in the Niger Delta and on the coastal lowlands.
Short rainy season
This rainy season is very short and can be called an "August break". It lasts from early September to mid-October and reaches its peak period at the very end of September. The short rains are not as heavy as those seen during the long rainy season.
These rains cover almost all southern parts of Nigeria and bring a lot of good for farmers. August is a dry month and usually the perfect time for harvesting and planting of grains like maize or rice. After the short dry season, which lasts for some time in August, the short rains come to supply farmers with some water for the crops planted in August.
Wet and long rainy season
The wet season lasts from June to September during which the amount and duration of rainfall increases from the south to the north of the country. The rains during the wet season are usually heavy and short, accompanied with storms.
This season brings a lot of natural disasters, such as flash floods and in some places soil erosion.
The rain can be both beneficial and harmful for humans. Nigerians enjoy rainfalls almost all year long and even take some advantage of it, for example, planting cash crops which require a lot of water. No matter the weather condition, never let it sweep away the sunshine in your mind.
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