Natural Hazards

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 171–188 | Cite as

Some aspects of the spatial characteristics of drought in northern Nigeria

  • E. Olukayode Oladipo


A long-period instrumental data set (1916–1987) of monthly growing season (April–October) rainfall totals for 34 stations in northern Nigeria is used to quantify drought following the method of H. N. Bhalme and D. A. Mooley. It is established that there are remarkable seasonal changes in the patterns of wetness and dryness over the region with no consistent recurrent spatial patterns in the moisture anomalies. In general, large-scale droughts only rarely cover the region as a whole, and there are distinct spatial differences dominating the wet and dry years. The length and severity of drought varies from sub-area to sub-area with very low interannual persistence. Although discrete areas do catch the brunt of drought on a year-by-year basis, drought occurrence in the region is largely sporadic in its spatial distribution. The rather noisy spatial characteristics of drought in northern Nigeria suggests that the seasonal shift in the Intertropical Discontinuity (ITD) is not likely the most important causal mechanism of drought in the region.

Key words

Drought drought frequency drought severity northern Nigeria 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Olukayode Oladipo
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyAhmadu Bello UniversityZariaNigeria

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