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Expect heavy rains from October, warns MET

The heavy rains will be as a result of the El Nino phenomenon.

Kenyans have been advised to ready themselves for a season of heavy rains beginning October through to December.

The Director of Kenya Meteorological Service Dr. David Gikungu says the heavy rainfall is as a result of the El Nino conditions in the Pacific and a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) in the Indian Ocean that are providing favorable conditions for heavy rainfall reminiscent of 1997 and 2006.

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“The rainfall will be reminiscent of that received during the October, November to December of 1997 when the country received heavy rainfall,” said Dr. Gikungu and added that, “this was also witnessed in 2006.”

The Weatherman is asking weather sensitive sectors to take heed and take advantage of the availability of the rain water to increase productivity while cushioning the public from the adverse effects arising from heavy rainfall.

Speaking when he released the short rains seasonal forecast, Dr. Gikungu said that the forecast also indicates a high probability that some counties in the Northeastern region are likely to experience above-average rainfall. “This will be driven by warmer than average Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the Central and Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean indicating the presence of El Nino conditions,” he said and added, ”According to most of the global climate models, El Nino conditions are likely to persist throughout the OND season.”

He noted that, throughout the season, it is anticipated that most areas will have a relatively fair to good distribution of rainfall in both time and space with occasional storms are likely to occur over several parts of the country during the season.

Dr. Gikungu said that the prediction has similar characteristics to 2006 and 1997. The expected OND 2023 rainfall is likely well distributed. “However, in some few areas like Turkana and parts of Samburu county in the Northwest, the expected rainfall is likely to be poorly distributed in both time and space,” he said. The onset in Northwest region of the country in Turkana and Samburu will be in the Third to fourth week of October and cessation is expected in the fourth week of December.

The onset in Northeastern region of Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Isiolo, Garissa, Parts of Tana River will be in the fourth week of September and the rainfall is likely to continue into January.

The onset in the highlands West of the Rift Valley around the Lake Victoria Basin of Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, parts of Baringo, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, parts of Bomet, Kericho, Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Vihiga will be from September and the rainfall is likely to continue into January 2024.

The Central and Southern Rift Valley of Nakuru, Narok, Laikipia, parts of Bomet and Baringo the onset is expected in the second week of October and continue into January and in the Highlands East of the Rift Valley including Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu, Tharaka Nithi and Nairobi the onset will be in the second week of October and last into January.

In the south eastern lowlands of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Taita Taveta, and Kajiado the onset is in the second to the third week of October and last into January with the coastal region of Mombasa, Coastal parts of Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale the onset is expected in the fourth week of September and last into January.

The head of Food Security in the State Department of Crop Development, in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Mary Mwale asked farmers to register for the subsidized fertilizer. Speaking during the release of the short rains season, Mwale urged farmers to advantage of the good rainfall expected in October to December in order to increase food production. She said that plans are underway to assist vulnerable smallholder farmers who lost their crop in Baringo County by providing seed and fertilizer.

“The government intends to intervene on access to seed and fertilizer for the very vulnerable farmers whose crop failed in Baringo county,” said Dr. Mwale.

The Kenya RedCross Secretary General Dr. Ahmed Idris said the enhanced rainfall will help in the recovery from drought in the Arid and Semi Arid Lands (ASALs) and urged for the proper utilization of the seasonal forecast to help cushion the public from adverse impacts that may arise during the season.



Judith Akolo
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