Extreme Climatic Variability in North-western Nigeria: An Analysis of Rainfall Trends and Patterns

Imo J Ekpoh, Ekpenyong Nsa


Some aspects of the climate of north-western Nigeria were examined in this study, focusing more on rainfall, its inter- and intra-annual variability and patterns of distribution. Adopting the statistical distributions commonly used to describe climate states such as the mean, the standard deviation and the coefficient of variability, the climate of north-western Nigeria was analyzed for possible shifts in mean conditions and patterns. The study found that climatic conditions in north-western Nigeria have altered substantially as four drought episodes took place within the last three decades of the 20th Century and, the 1984 drought-year rainfall was 58.8 percent lower than the long-term mean rainfall. The study further showed that the 1968 to 2008 mean rainfall shifted downwards by 8.8 percent from the long-term mean, although it cannot be said if the shift is permanent or temporary since recent rainfall trends tend to suggest a recovery. Possible options for stabilizing the regional climate are suggested.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jgg.v3n1p51

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