The Standard Group Plc is a multi-media organization with investments in media platforms spanning newspaper print operations, television, radio broadcasting, digital and online services. The Standard Group is recognized as a leading multi-media house in Kenya with a key influence in matters of national and international interest.
  • Standard Group Plc HQ Office,
  • The Standard Group Center,Mombasa Road.
  • P.O Box 30080-00100,Nairobi, Kenya.
  • Telephone number: 0203222111, 0719012111
  • Email: [email protected]

Explainer: Why the sudden rise in heat?

 A captivating halo ring encircled the sun, visible from Ngata in Nakuru City on Christmas Day December 25, 2023. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Several parts of the country, especially Nairobi County, are experiencing extreme heat.

The high temperatures since January 2024 have caused a stir among citizens as some question the weather patterns.

The World Meteorological Department has noted that "the weather pattern has continued to break trends since last year, with January 2024 being the hottest on record".

Similarly, in its latest update, the Kenya Meteorological Department has predicted erratic weather conditions in several parts of the country.

"High daytime temperatures above 30°C are expected in various counties, while some parts of certain counties may experience low nighttime temperatures below 10°C," Kenya Metts warned.

The meteorologist has predicted sunny and dry weather in most parts of the country, except for areas in the South Rift Valley, Lake Victoria Basin, Rift Valley East/West Highlands, South Eastern Lowlands, Coast, and North Eastern Kenya where moderate rainfall is expected.

These weather conditions have stirred discussions on social media platforms with netizens questioning the sudden temperature change.

"Hey, Kenya Mets what's the explanation for this heat?" "Why are these the same areas that experienced heavy rains a few weeks ago?" an X user Sam posted.

According to Dr Richard Muita, Acting Deputy Director of Climate Services, Kenya Meteorological Department, the excess heat experienced is normal as January and February are usually dry and characterized by high temperatures.

Dr Muita noted that the high temperatures being witnessed are a result of the extremely wet seasons that were witnessed in 2023.

"In addition to the normal high temperatures in January and February... we are coming out of an associated rainy season... the El Niño conditions are associated with high sea surface temperatures in the oceans (Indian and Equatorial Pacific). This means that the atmosphere has been under warm conditions, which are still exacerbating the current temperatures we are experiencing," said Dr Muita.

He said the dry weather could continue until March due to the effects of the Elnino phenomenon.

The weather forecaster also warned that people should stay hydrated and protect themselves from the sun's rays during the hot days.

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Journal, extreme temperatures directly affect health by affecting the body's ability to regulate its internal temperature.

Loss of internal temperature control can lead to conditions such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and hyperthermia from extreme heat.

Extreme temperatures can also aggravate chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes-related conditions.

Dr Leonard Njeru, a psychiatrist, says climate change can also affect people's mental health.

"The heat will affect hydration status and energy production levels and to some extent the respiratory system. Mentally, the heat can increase the level of anxiety, irritability, and emotional distress," Dr Njeru said.

He added that the increased heat can affect behaviour and contribute to increased aggression, leading to an increase in violence.

Dr Njeru recommends that people should increase their water intake now to stay hydrated.

Related Topics


Trending Now


Popular this week