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Title: Rainfall dynamics and drought intensities in North-Western Nigeria,
Authors: Atedhor, G.O.
Odjugo, P.A.O.
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Benin Journal of Social Sciences
Series/Report no.: Vol. 20 (1);116-127
Abstract: This paper examines rainfall trends in the Northwestern Nigeria. Eight synoptic stations were selected from the Guinea Savanna (Ilorin, Lokoja, bida, and Kaduna) and Sudano-Sahelian Savanna (Gusau, Sokoto, Katsina and Kano) for this study. Monthly rainfall data for seventy years (1941-2010) were sourced from the archives of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Lagos. Time series Analysis (TSA) was used to investigate the annual trends and standardized anomalies of rainfall in the two eco-climatic zones. The decadal and seasonal patterns of rainfall in the zones were computed and compared between 1941-1975 and 1976-2010. Drought intensities in the two zones were classified based on percentage deviations of received rainfall from the 1941-2010 mean. The results among others show a slight increasing trend of rainfall in both eco-climatic zones with sudano-Sahelian Savanna having a more positive trend. The wettest decade in Guinea Savanna was 1951-60 with 12708.9mm rainfall amount while in the sudano-Sahelian Savanna, the wettest decade was 2001-2010 with 9049.8 mm rainfall amount while the driest decades were 1941-50 (11168.1 mm) and 1981-90 (6154.3 mm) in Guinea Savanna and Sudano-Sahelian Savanna respectively. In Guinea Savanna, mean monthly rainfall for the months of January-May and September-December were higher during 1941-1975 while mean monthly rainfall for the months of June-August were higher during 1976-2010 whereas in the Sudano-Sahelian Savanna, mean monthly rainfall for the months of January, August, September, November and December were higher during 1941-1975 while mean monthly rainfall for the months of February-July and October were higher during 1976-2010. Guinea Savanna witnessed 9 slight episodes while Sudano-Sahelian witnessed 21 years of droughts (moderate and slight) in 12 episodes during the period under review. It is recommended that intensification of efforts toward the provision of irrigation projects in the Sudano-Sahelian Savanna should be extended to the other sub-humid regions of Nigeria
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