List of Months of Rainy Season in Nigeria (2024)

When does the rainy season start and end in Nigeria?

The rainy months begin around February in southern parts of Nigeria. Rains move northward, reaching northern cities by June. The peak rainy months are June and July with very heavy rains. By August, rains start reducing as they move back southwards. The north becomes dry by September while southern regions transition to dry season by November. So the rainy season moves from south to north, then retreats north to south across Nigeria.

rainy season in nigeria

Image showing the rainy season in Nigeria

In this article, we will get into details about the months of rainy season in Nigeria, so you know when to get your umbrella ready.

MONTHS OF RAINY SEASON IN NIGERIA (2024)

Here is an overview of the months of rainy season in Nigeria as per the Intertropical Convergence Zone.

APRIL – THE BEGINNING OF THE RAINS

June marks the start of the rainy season in most parts of Nigeria. As the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moves northward, rain belts also shift northward across the country. Southwestern Nigeria is usually the first to experience the onset of the rains in June. Light showers begin to fall, signifying the transition from the dry to the wet season. These early rains help moisten the soil and enable farmers to begin land preparation for planting.

The amount of rainfall increases progressively from south to north across the country as the rainy season becomes established. Southern coastal regions receive heavy rainfall in June, averaging about 200mm. Rainfall totals decrease northwards to around 150mm over the central region and 100mm in the far north. Parts of northeastern Nigeria still remain dry in June.

Thunderstorms frequently develop in the afternoons, bringing short intense downpours. The increase in atmospheric moisture also leads to warmer nighttime temperatures. Nigerian cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt experience an increase in traffic congestion during evening peak hours as heavy rains cause flooding on major roads.

Overall, June showers signal the start of the growing season for farmers across much of Nigeria. However, the rains are not yet fully established, so agriculture activities remain limited to land clearing and preparation. The steady onset of the rains provides relief from the harsh dry season while recharging rivers, streams and lakes.

MAY – WET SEASON BEGINS IN EARNEST

By June, the rainy season is well underway across the entire country. The ITCZ continues its northward journey, bringing moist southwesterly winds and frequent rainfall to all parts of Nigeria. The duration and intensity of rain increases significantly from June. Southern coastal cities get frequent rainstorms and over 300mm of rainfall on average.

Central areas like Abuja and Jos have their peaks of the rainy season in June, with over 200mm of rainfall. Northern cities like Kano and Maiduguri receive heavier downpours of around 150mm as the rains reach inland areas. Rivers like the Niger begin to rise to high levels.

Warm moist air leads to higher daytime temperatures, often reaching over 30°C across Nigeria. However, cloudy skies during rainy periods help regulate the heat. The copious rains and warmer temperatures accelerate the growth of vegetation and flowering plants. ALSO READ: FULL LIST OF SEASONS IN NIGERIA AND THEIR WEATHER CHARACTERISTICS.

For agriculture, June marks the start of the major growing period. Farmers across the country actively plant crops like maize, yams, cassava, beans and rice. Planting of cash crops such as cocoa, oil palm and rubber also steps up. The abundant rains help seeds germinate and crops establish.

JUNE – THE PEAK OF THE RAINS

June is the height of the rainy season across most of Nigeria. It represents the peak rainfall period, especially in the central and northern regions. Southern coastal cities still receive heavy downpours of over 300mm. However, central cities like Abuja and Jos get their maximum rainfall totals in June, averaging over 250mm.

Even northern cities like Kano receive over 200mm of rainfall. Maiduguri gets its peak rainfall for the year of around 150mm. The heaviest downpours often occur in the afternoons and evenings. Intense thunderstorms are common.

The heavy rains lead to widespread flooding, especially in cities and low-lying areas. The Niger and Benue rivers reach maximum flood levels. Several states in the Niger Delta region get flooded. Roads become impassable in many areas.

For agriculture, the heavy rains maintain favorable wet conditions for crop growth and livestock grazing. However, excessive rainfall can also damage crops and farmlands. The copious rains replenish reservoirs and wetlands. But flooding can also disrupt fishing activities.

JULY – RAINY SEASON CONTINUES

Across southern Nigeria, July represents a slight decrease in rainfall from the peak rains of June. Cities like Lagos and Port Harcourt still see frequent downpours and totals above 250mm. But the rainfalls are not as intense and flooding starts to subside.

In central Nigeria, cities like Abuja and Jos continue to experience heavy rainfall of over 200mm. Further north, Kano still sees substantial rains of around 150mm in July. However, Maiduguri and the far northeast start transitioning to the dry season.

Farming activities remain in full swing across the wetter southern and central regions. But the rains start receding in northern areas, signaling the beginning of harvest. Water levels in the Niger and Benue rivers drop from their peak flood levels but remain high.

The overall rainy conditions continue to sustain vegetation growth and agricultural production. However, the decrease in rainfall from June provides some respite from the previous months of continuous downpours and flooding. Drier weather slowly starts developing in the far north.

AUGUST – RAINS MOVE SOUTHWARD

By August, the ITCZ starts moving southwards again, taking the main rain belts along with it. Rainfall decreases across northern areas of Nigeria. Cities like Kano receive only around 100mm. Maiduguri and the northeast receive very little rain in August, under 50mm.

Southern coastal cities like Lagos still see substantial rainfall, above 200mm for the month. But central parts of the country transition to the dry season. Abuja and Jos receive just 100-150mm of rain in August. Rivers are no longer flooding and start receding to normal levels. ALSO READ: TOP 10 COLDEST STATES IN NIGERIA DURING HARMATTAN

Agriculture activities begin shifting southwards, following the rains. Farmers in the north focus on harvesting crops before the dry season arrives. In the wetter south, crops like yams are still planted. But the growing season becomes shorter.

SEPTEMBER – THE RAINS RETREAT

By September, the rainy season is firmly over in northern Nigeria. Cities like Kano and Maiduguri receive little or no rainfall. Rivers and lakes are at their lowest levels ahead of the dry season. Farmers are engaged in harvesting and processing groundnut, sorghum and cotton crops.

Southern coastal regions like Lagos continue to experience moderate rains of around 150mm in September. Further inland, decreasing rainfall indicates the gradual end of the wet season. Abuja receives only about 50mm in September.

Agriculture activities continue to wind down across central Nigeria. Farmers harvest crops like maize, yams, cassava and cocoa. Flood recession agriculture starts along the banks of major rivers. Fishing activities also increase in lakes, rivers and inland delta regions.

The decrease in rains leads to a decline in humidity, cloudiness and temperatures. Drier and sunnier weather slowly returns to the country. The rainy season gradually comes to an end by late September.

CONCLUSION

In summary, the rainy season moves up and down Nigeria following the sun’s position.

It starts around February in the south with light rains that increase steadily. June and July are the wettest months with very heavy rains and floods. From August, rains start reducing as they move back southwards, ending in the north. The cycle then repeats next year.

Rains are important for farms and water supply but also cause flooding problems across Nigeria during rainy months.

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Oluchi Chukwu

Oluchi is a seasoned Information blogger, content developer and the editor of Nigerian Queries. She is a tech enthusiast who loves reading, writing and research

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