By Nicolas Nduati/Judith Akolo
Morning Wednesday diversion of flights to Moi International Airport and to Kilimanjaro International Airport due to fog at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has affected some flights.
National Carrier, Kenya Airways Wednesday morning diverted three flights that had been scheduled to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport(JKIA) at 6am to Mombasa and Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha.
The flights were diverted owing to foggy conditions and overcast skies over JKIA that made visibility impossible.
Flights KQ765 and KQ552 were diverted to Mombasa while flight KQ499 was redirected to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Tanzania.
Flights KQ765 diverted to Mombasa was due land back at JKIA at 09;15hrs but this was switched to the afternoon. KQ552 also diverted to Mombasa was due to land at JKIA at 09;46hrs but this was again changed to early afternoon together with flight KQ499 diverted to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, Tanzania.
Kenya Airways attributed the redirection of the three flights to what it termed as adverse weather conditions in Nairobi this morning.
Deputy Director in charge of forecasting at the Kenya Meteorological Department Samuel Mwangi says poor weather over JKIA and its environs is a normal occurrence during the month of January.
Mwangi said January usually sees low night temperatures with clear skies which is a favorable condition for fog formation.
A lot of moisture and clear skies at night, results into radiative cooling which tends to form fog in the early morning towards sunrise,” said Mwangi in an interview and added, “this condition is common during the month of January.
The weatherman said the fog often clears a few hours after sunrise giving way to clear skies and sunny conditions.
“Fog conditions are on and off and cannot be forecast for the long term, however, meteorologists stationed at all airports forecast for flights and aviation safety,” said Mwangi in an interview, adding that foggy conditions are localized and in patches.
Mwangi noted that the El Nino phenomenon in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean that has been causing heavy rainfall in most parts of the country has already reached its peak and the temperatures have began to fall signaling that start of the end of the phenomenon.
El Nino is the rise in temperatures over the Equatorial Pacific Ocean. It begins in April to May and reaches its peak in the third quarter of the year.
Often the phenomenon sees that in temperatures to above of between 0.5 degrees Celsius and 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“The El Nino phenomenon is now in the recession phase and depending on the findings of the seasonal forecast, we’ll advise accordingly,” said Mwangi.
In the Seven days forecast, the Kenya Meteorological Service says, the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley, Central and South Rift Valley(counties of Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Transnzoia, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kericho, Bomet, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia will continue receiving rainfall in the afternoon coupled by sunny intervals in the morning.
The Northwestern counties of; Turkana, West Pokot and Samburu have sunny intervals. While the Central Highlands including, Nairobi area, counties of Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Embu, and Tharaka are expected to experience afternoon showers over on Tuesday and Wednesday and sunny intervals in the remainder of the forecast period.
The Northeastern counties of Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa and Isiolo are expected to experience morning rains over few places on Tuesday and Wednesday then sunny intervals the whole day for the remainder of the forecast period;
The Southeastern counties of Kitui, Makueni, Machakos and Taita Taveta will experience afternoon showers over few places on Tuesday and Wednesday and then sunny intervals the whole day for the remainder of the forecast period;
The Coastal strip counties of Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu and Kwale are expected to experience morning showers over few places on Tuesday and Wednesday then sunny intervals for the remainder of the forecast period.