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Intense heat pushing Kenyans to sleep naked, Kenya Met explains

A man sleeps without a blanket. [Getty Images]

For the last four days, Kenyans have taken to social media to express how excessive heat at night would not allow them to sleep.

While some said it was impossible for them to sleep without a cold shower to cool them down, others said it had forced them to sleep without pyjamas.

“It has been freaking hot and I suspect global warming. I cannot put on any cloth in this situation, I wake up soaked in sweat,” said Whitney on her social media page.

“It makes me wake up at 2 am due to uncomfortable heat. I sometimes have to get to the bathroom to wash my face with cold water. This heat has interrupted my sleeping schedule and is becoming something else,” Dennis posted in a WhatsApp group.

The Standard reached out to the Kenya Metrological Department to explain the phenomenon behind the heat.

“We have been experiencing the excessive heat at night because the atmosphere is becoming so unstable, especially during the afternoon,” said Mr David Koross, Assistant Director Forecasting at the Kenya Metrological Department.

Koross said the clear sky has caused the weather to be dry which increases the moisture content.

 “This is caused by a rapid increase in water vapour which is trapping the outgoing longwave radiation of temperature. This means instead of the temperatures escaping, they are retained within the atmosphere,” said Koross.

He said this is one of the components that is used to predict the onset of long rains.

“As we speak I can confirm that when we experience such situations accompanied by the chaotic winds, it is an indication of the onset of long rains. By today afternoon, we shall start to experience some showers and thunderstorms in counties like Nairobi, Central region, Machakos and Western region,” he said.

Mr Koross said Kenyans have no reason to worry because this happens every time before the onset of rains especially when the weather has been so dry for a long time with a clear sky.

The weatherman last month advised Kenyans to brace for heavy rainfall which he said is expected in most parts of the country between the months of March and May.

The latest update indicated that the Lake Victoria Basin, the Highlands East of the Rift Valley (including Nairobi County), the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Northwest, the Southern Rift Valley the Central Rift Valley and the Southeastern lowlands will experience enhanced rainfall.

According to the weatherman, near average rainfall is expected over Northeastern and the Coastal regions over the same period.

“The peak of the rains is expected to be in the month of April for most regions except over the Coastal Strip where the peak is expected during the month of May,” said the weatherman.