Meteorological Department reviews October to December short rains

Written By: Judith Akolo
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A Statement by the Kenya Meteorological Department, Director Stella Aura says the rainfall distribution observed during the season up to 12th November 2018 “has been generally poor over most places especially during the peak month of November.”

She attributes the situation to the Intense Tropical Cyclone “Alcide” that developed in the Indian Ocean at the beginning of November and “significantly reduced the moisture influx into the country,” and adds, “The onset of the October-November-December (OND) 2018 seasonal rainfall, though timely, was not characterized by the usual heavy storms apart from few places in western Kenya and the Coastal strip.”

However, she warned that November-December 2018 could see several parts of the country receive near-normal to above-normal (enhanced) rainfall.

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“Despite the prolonged dry spells that have been observed so far, substantial amounts of rainfall are expected towards the end of November and will continue into December,” said the Director and added, “The expected intense rainfall is still likely to cause flooding in isolated areas in the country.”

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She noted that parts of Northern Kenya including Mandera and Northern parts of Wajir are likely to experience near-average rainfall.

The Climate outlook for the OND 2018 had indicated that the “Short Rains” season indicated that much of the country was likely to experience above average rainfall. The distribution, both in time and space, was also expected to be good.

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Up to 12th of November 2018, Mombasa Met Station had the highest rainfall total of 286.1mm (100% of October-November-December (OND) Long-Term Mean (LTM)).

Other stations that had recorded between 50 – 75% of their OND LTMs include Lamu 74%, Mtwapa 72%, Kisumu 66%, Laikipia 59%, Malindi 58%, Msabaha 57%, Kakamega 51% and Eldoret (Kapsoya) 50%.

The others are Marsabit, Moyale, Kitale and Kisii recorded between 40 and 50 percent.

The rest of the stations recorded less than 40% of their OND LTMs.

Of concern to the weatherman is Lodwar Meteorological Station in Turkana County that has not received any rainfall so far even as the earlier forecast had indicated that the North Western region would receive Above Normal rainfall during the October, November to December short rains season.

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The onset of Seasonal rains have so far been characterized by erratic (uneven) and significant cumulative deficits over much of Kenya apart from the coastal strip.

“For example, on 25th of October, 2018 Kinango Agricultural station reported 222.0mm. Other stations along the Coast that recorded significant rains are Kwale Veterinary Station 158.0mm, Vanga Fisheries station 103.5mm, and Lunga Lunga Primary School with 116.2mm,” she noted.

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