Above-Average Rainfall Forecasted For October-December

The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has unveiled its forecast for the upcoming short rain season, spanning October to December 2023.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday at a Nairobi Hotel, the Director KMD, Dr David Gikungu emphasized the significance of the October-November-December (OND) short rains season in Kenya, particularly in the Central and Eastern regions of the Country.

He highlighted that the central highlands typically record the highest seasonal rainfall during this period.

'The forecast for OND 2023 indicates an expectation of above-average rainfall across most parts of the country, with a mixture of fairly and well-distributed rainfall in different regions, both in terms of timing and spatial distribution,' Gikungu disclosed.

According to the forecast, the North-Eastern Counties are projected to experience above-average rainfall, driven by warmer sea surface temperatures over the Central and Eastern Equatorial Pacific Ocean, indicating El Niño conditions. This pattern is anticipated to persist throughout the OND season.

The forecast pinpointed specific regions that are likely to receive continuous rainfall throughout the OND season, including the Lake Victoria basin, the highlands west of the Rift Valley, and the central and southern Rift Valley.

Dr. Gikungu explained that while the peak of the season is expected in November and December, the distribution of rainfall might be less even in October.

For North Western Counties such as Turkana and Samburu, as well as North-Eastern Counties like Mandera, Marsabit, Wajir, and Isiolo, occasional above-average rainfall is anticipated, particularly in October, followed by more even distribution in November and December.

Highlands East of the Rift Valley Counties, which encompass Nairobi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang'a, Kiambu, Laikipia, Embu, and Tharaka Nithi, are forecasted to experience above-average rainfall throughout the OND season.

The KMD Director stated that the rainfall amounts are likely to be well distributed both in time and space.

In contrast, South-Eastern lowlands Counties like Kitui, Makueni, Machakos, Taita Taveta, and Kajiado, as well as the Coastal Counties of Mombasa, Tana River, Kilifi, Lamu, and Kwale, are expected to receive above-average rainfall that will be well distributed across the OND season.

The forecast relied on data from seven global circulation model runs and statistical analysis of past years, particularly those that exhibited characteristics similar to the current year. Notably, the years 2006 and 1997 were used as reference points for this analysis.

Dr. Gikungu underscored that several parts of the Country might continue to experience rainfall into January 2024. The forecasted enhanced rainfall during the OND season is expected to impact various sectors both positively and negatively, including agriculture, disaster management, energy, health, and water resources.

Source: Kenya News Agency