Kenyans To Experience Dry Spell For 3 Months- Met Department
Temperatures are expected to be warmer than average over most parts of the country...
The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has announced that dry weather conditions will be experienced in most parts of the country between January and March 2023.
According to its climate outlook report for January 2023 released on December 31, 2022, the weatherman indicated that sunny and dry weather conditions will be common over most parts of the country.
"However, a few areas over the western sector especially those around the Lake Victoria Basin and Southern Rift Valley, the Highlands East of the Rift Valley and South-Eastern lowlands may experience a few rainy days during the forecast period," stated the weatherman in part, adding that the rainfall may spread to several places during the month of March.
Temperatures are expected to be warmer than average over most parts of the country except over some areas over the western sector where temperatures are expected to be near average.
A map showing a forecast of the average maximum temperatures in the country released by the Kenya Meteorological Department on January 2, 2023. /KENYA METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT
For its outlook for January 2023, most parts of the country will experience dry weather conditions. However, few areas over the Highlands West of the Rift Valley, the Lake Victoria basin, the Central and Southern Rift valley, the Highlands East of the Rift Valley, the South-eastern lowlands and the Coastal strip are likely to experience occasional rainfall.
KMD's weekly forecast released on Monday, January 2 goes on to state that the country will be subjected to dry weather during the day and cold nights between January 3-9.
"The outlook for January 2023 indicates that most parts of the country will experience dry weather conditions. The average daytime maximum temperatures are likely to be moderate between 20 and 30 degrees Celcius.
"Minimum night temperatures are likely to be less than 10 degrees Celcius over some parts of the Highlands East of the Rift Valley," KMD stated.
The majority of the parts in the Western, North Rift, and North Eastern regions will receive a mean of between zero to 20 millimetres of rainfall within the period.
More rain will be experienced however in the Eastern part of Rift Valley, the South-Eastern lowlands and the Coast region. Afternoon showers will be experienced in the aforementioned regions.
KMD warned that the dry weather conditions expected during the month of January are likely to worsen the food security over the Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) regions of the country as the availability of food, water and pasture for human as well as livestock use is expected to decline further.
The national and local governments as well as humanitarian organisations were advised to take necessary action to avert any loss of lives.
The current drought being experienced over the northern and parts of the eastern sectors of the country is expected to exacerbate, with relevant authorities called upon to put in place measures to avert any loss of lives and livelihoods.
The limited pasture and water over the ASAL areas may also lead to resource-based conflicts among the pastoral and farming communities.
The expected dry conditions in January 2023 may impact negatively the major river catchment areas for the country’s hydroelectric power-generating dams, thus careful reservoir management and continuous monitoring of water level are recommended to ensure a stable power supply.
Water availability for both human and livestock needs is also expected to decline further, especially in the ASAL areas.
"Human-wildlife conflicts may escalate in the ASAL areas as wildlife migrate in search of water and pasture. Relevant authorities are advised to provide fodder and watering points to the wildlife to minimize such incidences.
"The dry conditions expected in January may result in reduced water levels in reservoirs, lakes, and ponds. It is also likely to lead to the loss of wetlands and the occurrence of wildfires in forests, parks and reserves," added KMD.
The high temperatures expected during the month of January in most parts of the country may lead to heat stress and heat-related discomforts such as headaches and fatigue. Kenyans are therefore advised to hydrate appropriately and avoid working in the open, especially in the afternoons.
Dry ground during drought in Kenya. /FILE