Climate of Nigeria -4 climates in Nigeria
Table of Contents
Nigeria is a West-African country sharing borders with Cameroon, Chad, and the Republic of Benin and is located within the equator and the Tropic of Cancer; where the climate is seasonally damp and humid. A country with 36 states having different cultures and traditions. It has a beautiful landscape, with some parts of the country having low and high land, mountains, plateaus, rivers, and lakes. The country is blessed with moderate weather for vegetative sustenance across different parts of the country.
Nigeria is generally said to have two seasons; the rainy and dry seasons. These seasons depend on location and vary in different parts of the country. In the north and western part of Nigeria, there is a wet and dry season and a steppe climate in the far north.
In the south, the rainy seasons last from late February or early March to November and in the north, it lasts from mid-may extending to September. There is an august break which is normally a short dry period in the rainy season. The extent of rainfall during the rainy season varies across different parts of the country.
In the northern region of the country; Sokoto, Kano, Maiduguri, the rain lasts for about four months and the precipitation is usually below 500 millimetres and on the shores of Lake Chad, precipitation varies from 1000-1600 millimetres. In the central region (Abuja) it is 2000 millimetres. In the south, it exceeds 3000 millimetres.
Due to this variation in rainfall, the vegetation is different in different parts of the country. In the north, we see a semi-arid land, in the centre, we see the savannah region, and in the south, we see the forest and mangrove region of the Niger delta.
In some areas in the north, the rain is not very consistent and so there is an alternation of the rainy and sunny period, consisting of light precipitation and very intense heat during the sunny period, which may also extend to the rainy period.
Due to the change in seasons, there is a variation in temperature, this being dependent on the climatic zone. In the winter, the north is usually warm and dry, and during the day the temperature increases from 40oc but decreases at night. In the south, the increase in temperature is moderate because of the close proximity of the oceans and because of early rainfall.
Nigeria has four types of climate which move from the southern part to the northern part of Nigeria.
The Tropical Monsoon; found in the southern part of the country. It is influenced by the monsoon originating from the South Atlantic oceans, which is brought by the maritime tropical air mass (a warm moist sea to land seasonal breeze). It is a warm breeze with high humidity. This climate is warm with high humidity and a very small temperature range. During this climate, the southern part of the country experiences heavy and abundant rainfall.
The Tropical Savanna or tropical wet and dry climate; this climate exhibits a marked rainy season and dry season. The temperature is above 18oc throughout the year. This is mostly seen in Abuja. The dry season experience begins from December to march, with a hot and dry harmattan wind, and tropical continental air mass accompanied by dust from the Sahara desert.
The Sahel climate or tropical dry climate; is most common in the northern part of the country. Total rainfall is lower than that of the southern and central parts of the country. Rainy periods last for only three to four months, with the rest of the year being dry and hot with temperatures more than 40oc. Though, Yobe state in the northeast of the country is said to have the lowest temperature.
Highland or Mountain climate; found in the mountains and highlands of Nigeria. High lands in Nigeria are about 1520 meters above sea level. Due to their height above sea level, the temperature of the highlands are usually low, a cool climate.