Rainfall unlikely to end food crisis: Met

The rains might not end the now worsening food shortage, the weatherman has warned. 

The alert comes even as several counties are reeling from the effects of a drought that has left a trail of deaths in its wake. 

In the latest announcement by Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), due to the late onset and poor distribution of the March to May rainfall, it is expected that the country's agricultural sector will greatly suffer leading to food insecurity.

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"The March-April-May 'long rains' constitutes an important season in Kenya and more so in the Western, Rift Valley and Central regions," notes acting Director of Meteorological Services Stella Aura, adding that the rainfall highly-impacts on the agricultural sector and hence food security.

Food security

However, she notes that this time round, things are not looking good for the country in terms of the weather and food security.

"The outlook for the 'long rains' season indicates that most of the country is likely to experience slightly above average rainfall except for parts of Eastern Kenya and the Coastal region," says the weatherman.

At the same time, KMD says the seasonal rainfall is expected to be timely over several parts of the country.

"However, a tropical cyclone known as IDAI located in the Mozambican channel for several days has played a key role in delaying the northward movement of the rain bearing winds or the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)," notes the national forecaster.

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"The cyclone significantly reduced moisture influx into the country and this led to continued sunny and dry weather.

Indian Ocean

"Neutral to cooler than average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) along the Western Equatorial Indian Ocean coupled with very warm SSTs to the east of Madagascar have also contributed to the delay in the establishment of the ITCZ over the country," it adds.

Further, the agency warns that there are possibilities of more tropical cyclones developing in the South West Indian Ocean basin and that this may further delay the onset of rains in many parts of the country.

"Despite timely onset of the March-April-May 2019 seasonal rainfall, prolonged dry spells are likely due to the existence of the tropical cyclones (TCs),"it notes.

Water sources are expected to deteriorate over most parts of the country due to poor rainfall, Met warns.

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Kenya Meteorological Departmentfood shortage