Be Ready To Manage Severe Turbulence in Rainy Season, NiMet Cautions Pilots

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on Friday cautioned pilots to be ready to manage severe turbulence as the rainy season commences in many locations across the country.

The Director-General, NiMet, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu, while briefing the press on in Abuja, advised pilots and airline operators to take weather information very seriously and urged passengers to exercise patience whenever delays or cancelations are made due to weather concerns.

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The agency also hinted that the season would be characterised by electrical charges in the atmosphere that could cause thunderstorms, adding that there would be series of microburst incidents at airports.

He noted that microburst is mini-thunderstorms that emanate from the cloud because of its low temperature of the cloud.

According to him, “The adverse weather activities associated with the onset period included high intensity storm within a short duration of time, high turbulence that may damage properties, among others.”

He noted that heavy rains during the season could make the surface of airport runways wet, leading to skidding, impaired horizontal visibility as well as affect ground operations.

“You can also experience clear air turbulence and it happens during the onset period of the rainy season,” Matazu said.

He explained that the negative implications of these weather issues include the fact that they cause severe turbulence during descent or at certain flying levels.

“This microburst which happen around the airports cause windshields problems and that is why we have an alert system by which we issue alerts to pilots through the Air Traffic Controllers,” he said.

He observed that his agency had issued special alerts to airlines and other operators across all airports in Nigeria and would continue to issue same as the rainy season sets in fully.

He revealed that NiMet had been issuing weather updates to Air Traffic Controllers at intervals of 30 minutes daily and that the updates were relayed to pilots, adding: “We want pilots to be conscious of precautionary measures and adhere to standard operating procedures to ensure safety in aviation.”

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