Country could receive rainfall in end April, May

Acting Deputy Director of Meteorological Services Bernard Chanzu says the country could receive low amounts of rainfall towards the end of April and early May.

The Weatherman says the Indian Ocean remains warm creating low-pressure cells that are not conducive for the formation of rain-bearing clouds.

“Warm temperatures over the Indian Ocean have created low-pressure cells,” said Chanzu and added, “This is not good, yet April is usually the peak of the rainfall season.”

He said the poor season during the March to May long rains season could see the eastern sector of the country worst affected since the region experienced an equally poor season during the short rains season of October to December last year.

Chanzu notes that the on and off rainfall being received in the Western region that is often followed by long dry spells is worrying.

Adding that food production could be affected while saying that April marks the end of the Tropical Cyclones season, the Acting Deputy Director of Meteorological Services said some weak tropical cyclones could continue forming over the Indian Ocean.

“There could be some weak tropical cyclones forming going forward but their season ends in April, we, however, cannot rule out the deep lows,” said Chanzu.

Assistant Director of Meteorological Services Samuel Mwangi said the concentration of the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) that established over Tanzania denied Kenya the much-needed moisture in the form of rainfall.

Mwangi said the situation was further complicated by the development of the Tropical Cyclones in the Southern part of Africa that effectively pulled back the rain-bearing winds hence denying Kenya the much-needed rainfall.

 “The seasonal rainfall onset was also expected to be timely over several parts of the country. However, Tropical Cyclone “IDAI” that hit the Mozambican Channel delayed the northward movement of the rain-bearing Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone,” said the weathermen.

Famine Early Warning Systems (FEWSNET) also warns that poor rainfall is continuing to hasten deterioration of vegetation conditions and depletion of water resources, especially in northwestern, northeastern, and eastern pastoral areas where there has been prolonged, atypical dryness since October.

“Cumulative rainfall in bimodal areas is now likely to be below average,” says FEWSNET.

The organization notes that in marginal agricultural areas, delayed and below-average long rains are likely to lead to a decrease in agricultural wage labour demand, and crop yields are likely to be at least 25 percent below average.

“Coupled with currently low household food stocks, more households are likely to face Stressed outcomes,” says FEWSNET.

In pastoral areas, accelerated depletion of rangeland resources will cause deterioration in livestock body conditions, lowering productivity and limiting livestock-related income opportunities.

“Combined with related resource-based conflict, more households are likely to be in Crisis,” warns the organization.


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