I have come across this question on the internet so many times that I decided to do some research. In the course of my research, I saw many websites claiming that it has snowed in some Nigerian States. Really, has it ever snowed in Nigeria? Is it all just an unfounded belief?
So, has it ever snowed in Nigeria?
Many of the web pages and blog posts that claim it has snowed in Nigeria are misinformed. What many Nigerians believe to be snow is actually hail. I do not blame Nigerians who mistake hail for snow though. It is quite normal considering the fact that a huge number of Nigerians have never experienced snowfall.
Differences between Snow and Hail
It has apparently hailed in a number of Nigerian States. Hails are the ice pellets that fall with rain. This, I have experienced a number of times. The ice blocks make loud noises on the roofs of houses. Sometimes, hail even damages roofs.
Snow, on the other hand, is fluffier than hail. It does not fall like stones making loud noises on roofs. Snow is experienced more in temperate regions where temperatures drop to very low levels.
Hailstones are not very common in Nigeria. But there is no credible record at all for snow.
Where has it ever hailed in Nigeria?
Hailstorms in Nigeria are usually associated with Jos, Plateau State. This is because hail is pretty common on mountains in Africa. Jos, Plateau is about the coldest region in Nigeria, and apparently experiences hail sometimes.
Asides from Plateau State, other areas in Nigeria have seen hail. And no, it is not limited to the southern States. I once witnessed a hailstorm in Minna, Niger State. Niger State is in the North Central geopolitical zone of Nigeria. The rain started normally. All of a sudden, it got louder on the roof. I had to go outside to check what was going on. Lo and behold, there were ice pellets on the ground. It was the first time I witnessed it, and it felt good.
I have also witnessed hail in Ilorin, Kwara State. Kwara is another State in the North Central geopolitical zone. It hailed with rain.
Why do Nigerians get excited over hail?
A lot of Nigerians have never seen snow, at least, not in real life. Hail is about the closest they have ever seen. So, when it hails, I see Nigerians calling it snow. That notion alone is ridiculous as hail and snow do not even look very much alike. But Nigerians get excited anyway. This is quite understandable considering the typically hot Nigerian climate.
Most Nigerians who have seen snow obviously saw it outside Nigeria. Unless of course there have been undocumented snows in Nigeria.
This is the reason why hailstones tend to cause a buzz in Nigeria. When it hails, I see Nigerians take to social media to describe it as snow. I usually have a laugh because the pictures are nothing close to snow.
Read Also: Why Is Nigeria Such A Terrible Country?
Can it ever Snow in Nigeria?
A little research online apparently shows that it cannot snow in Nigeria. The country is very close to the equator where the climate is typically tropical. This means that it is usually hot in this region.
However, scientific trends have shown that some things should not be expressly ruled out.
Nigeria is truly a tropical country not far from the equator. But the Jos Plateau almost meets the requirement for snow. It gets extremely cold on the Plateau. If it experiences a sudden colder period, then snow may not be totally out of the question. However, when next you are asked, “Has it ever snowed in Nigeria?”, the answer so far is “No”.
Volcan Cayambe is a volcano in Ecuador which has a permanent snow cap. This is about the only place on the equator where it happens though.
So, I would not totally rule out the possibility of snow in Nigeria. Just wait and see if it will happen in your lifetime.
Has it ever snowed in Nigeria? No.
Can it ever snow in Nigeria? Who knows?
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Author: Vincent Abolarin
Vincent is a Nigerian blogger with special interest in the history and current happenings in the country. When he is not blogging, he enjoys reading and playing computer games.