Weatherman warns of October - December El Nino rains

Kenya Metrological Department Managing Director David Gikungu.[Samson Wire, Standard] 

The Kenya Meteorological Department has warned of heavy downpours from the months of October to December 2023 across various parts of the country as a result of the El Nino climate phenomenon.

Addressing the media on Wednesday, August 30, the department’s Director General David Gikungu said that the long rains are expected to start in September and shall continue until January next year.

“It is expected that most parts of the country will experience enhanced (above average) rainfall that will be fairly distributed in some areas and well distributed in others in both time and space,” said Gikungu.

 The heavy continuous rains are to be experienced in parts of 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.

Turkana and Samburu counties are likely to receive occasional rainfall above the long-term average with poor rainfall distribution in October.

Consequently, an above-long-term average rainfall for the season is predicted in Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Taita Taveta, and Kajiado counties while Northeastern counties including Wajir and Mandera are to receive the highest rainfall above average.

Parts of Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a Kiambu, Laikipia East, Meru Embu, and Tharaka Nithi counties are expected to experience rainfall throughout the mentioned months.

Additionally, coastal counties including Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, and Kwale will receive rainfall above the long-term average.

The weatherman has also said that occasional storms are likely to accompany the long rains during the season.

According to the Kenya Mets climate outlook, flooding is expected in Western Kenya along Nyando, Nyakach, Budalangi, Winam Gulf, and lower areas of River Nzoia and River Sondu among other regions.

The disaster risk management team has urged people to practice water harvesting methods and vegetation cover to enhance preparedness and adequate response to the forthcoming floods.

The climate outlook report was released ahead of the upcoming Africa Climate Summit that is to be held in Nairobi on September 4.