Prepare for ‘enhanced’ rainfall in September
The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has asked farmers to prepare for ‘enhanced rainfall’ from September.
The rainy season, according to KMD, will last upto six months and is attributed to the presence of El Niño conditions spurred by warmer-than-average Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the Central and Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean.
KMD Director David Gikungu while releasing the weather forecast for October, November and December 2023, explained that the prediction points to more rainfall in that country during that spell.
“The upcoming weather is predicted to bring higher than usual rainfall to most parts of the country. This rain will be distributed fairly in some areas and more evenly in others, both in terms of timing and location,” Said Dr Gikungu.
However, the forecast highlights a distinct meteorological outlook for regions including Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Kericho, Bungoma, Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Vihiga, Laikipia (Laikipia West), Nakuru, and Narok Counties.
These areas are on track to experience consistent rainfall throughout the season.
The expected precipitation in these regions is anticipated to exceed the usual seasonal averages, a phenomenon known as ‘enhanced rainfall’ according to experts.
“November is poised to be the main event, where the rain will pour the hardest. While October could see some unpredictable patterns, November and December should balance things out, spreading the rain more evenly across these counties,” said Dr Gikungu.
Nairobi Area, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Laikipia East, Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi, rainfall is anticipated across these counties throughout the season. The amounts of rainfall are predicted to surpass the usual long-term averages for the season. Moreover, the distribution of rainfall is projected to be even both in terms of time and location.
“Counties such as Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, and Kwale are forecasted to encounter rainfall throughout the season. The anticipated rainfall is projected to exceed the usual long-term averages for this time of year, and it’s anticipated to be evenly spread across both time and geographical area,” read the forecast
According to Dr Gikungu, the projected start and end dates of rainfall, as well as how it will be distributed, were determined by analyzing data from 7 Global Circulation Model (GCM) simulations.
The Ministry of Agriculture has highlighted the mixed implications of the anticipated abundant rainfall in the Western and Eastern regions.
While the rainfall is expected to bring about several positive outcomes, there are also concerns regarding potential negative impacts on agriculture and communities.
The Ministry is also alert to the potential proliferation of pests and diseases due to prolonged humidity resulting from the excess moisture.
Both crops and livestock could be at risk, necessitating vigilant pest and disease management strategies to mitigate potential losses.