Kenya Meteorological Department warns of reduced short rains

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Kenya Meteorological Department Director Stella Aura addresses a past press conference. Photo/PD/File

The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) yesterday  warned of inadequate rains in many parts of the country in the October, November and December short rains season.

The warning comes a day after the National Disaster Management Authority (DMA) announced that at least 23 counties are experiencing adverse effects of the long dry spell, including a severe shortage of food, pasture and water.

DMA listed Garissa, Isiolo, Kilifi, Kitui, Mandera, Marsabit, Samburu, Tana River, Wajir and Turkana counties as the most affected.

Others are Baringo, Kajiado, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Laikipia, Lamu, Makueni, Meru, Tharaka Nithi and West Pokot.

Get worse

KMD’s report says the climate outlook for the October, November, December short rains season indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience reduced rainfall.

Forecasts show the prevailing drought in the northern and eastern parts of the country is likely to deteriorate and extend to other regions.

The prediction indicates a likelihood of drought between October and December in most of the arid and semi-arid regions of northern and eastern Kenya that may worsen as the period progresses.

 On average, several parts of the country will experience sunny and dry weather conditions in September. 

However, the Lake Victoria Basin, the Highlands West of the Rift Valley and Central Rift Valley are likely to experience near-average rainfall.

KMD director Stella Aura said an assessment of the rainfall recorded from March 1 to May 31, 2021 indicated that the rainfall performance was near average to below average over most parts of the country.

Flash floods

She added that the October, November, December (OND) short rains constitute an important rainfall season in Kenya especially in the central and south-eastern regions.

“During OND 2021, it is expected that most parts of the country will experience depressed (below average) rainfall that will be poorly distributed in both time and space.

However, isolated incidents of storms that could cause flash floods are still likely to occur despite the expected depressed rains,” said Aura.

The director said that northwestern counties of Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu are likely to experience mainly sunny and dry weather conditions for most of the season.

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