Investigation of Rainfall Characteristics in Sudano-Sahelian Region of Nigeria (1971–2006)

  • Aliyu Tambuwal UmarEmail author
  • Sani Abubakar Mashi
  • Mansur Matazu Bako
Reference work entry


Farmers especially in rural areas of Nigeria have for long relied on rain-fed farming for their livelihoods. Any perturbations in rainfall characteristics could adversely affect their livelihoods. It is against this background that this chapter examined the influence of variability in the dates of onset and cessation of the rains, dry spell occurrences on annual and seasonal rainfall amounts, and length of the rainy season in the Sudano-Sahelian region of Nigeria. Daily rainfall data for five selected meteorological stations in the region were collected from the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Abuja, Nigeria. The onset and cessation dates were computed using Walter’s technique, while four (4) dry spell categories, namely, very short (DS1, 1–3 days), short (DS2, 4–7 days), medium (DS3, 8–14 days), and long (DS4, ≥15 days), were detected using multi-scale dry spell detection method adopted from Salack et al. Data were analyzed using stepwise multiple regression model. Results showed among other things that the onset and cessation dates of the rains, DS2, DS3, and DS4, had strong influence on rainfall characteristics examined in this study. It is recommended that farmers should adhere strictly to NiMet’s seasonal rainfall predictions to prevent crop failures due to false onset of the rains and associated dry spells. This could enhance farmers’ resilience to climate change and facilitates the attainment of food security in the region.


Rainfall variability Onset Cessation Dry spells Sudano-Sahelian region 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aliyu Tambuwal Umar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sani Abubakar Mashi
    • 2
  • Mansur Matazu Bako
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUsmanu Danfodiyo UniversitySokotoNigeria
  2. 2.Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet)AbujaNigeria

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