By Bernard Maranga, KBC/NECJOGHA
Nairobi, Kenya – The Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) has released the weather forecast for November 2019 predicting above average rainfall which may lead to floods and landslides.
KMD says that several parts of the country experienced wet weather conditions during the month of October 2019. The start of the seasonal rains (onset) was timely over several places with some areas especially over the north eastern where onset was slightly earlier than expected. The rainfall was characterized by heavy storms that led to floods especially along the Coastal strip, Central, South Eastern and several parts of North eastern Kenya. Most meteorological stations across the country recorded monthly rainfall totals that exceeded 200 percent of their October monthly Long-Term Means (LTMs). Meru Meteorological Station recorded the highest total rainfall amount of 649.1 mm that was 297.1 percent of its October monthly LTM.
“November is normally the peak month for the October-November-December (OND) “short-rains” season. The outlook for November 2019 indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience above average rainfall for the month. Episodes of heavy rains are likely to continue being experienced in several parts of the country during the period. This coupled with the already saturated grounds is likely to continue causing floods and landslides in affected parts of the country,” says a release signed by Stella Aura the Director of Meteorological Services, KMD.
CLIMATE OUTLOOK FOR NOVEMBER 2019
KMD explains that the outlook for November 2019 is mainly based on empirical statistical models developed from expected evolution of global Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) anomalies and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). The SST anomaly patterns taken into account include the warmer than average SSTs over the western Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to the East African coast) coupled with the cooler than average SSTs in the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to Australia). This constitutes a strong positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), that is currently +2.06 and quite favorable for enhanced rainfall in the country. The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) however remains neutral.
The forecast indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience enhanced rainfall during the month of November as seen in Figure 1.
KMD concludes by giving the impacts so far experience from the OND rainfall season and says that the rainfall received during the period was associated with episodes of heavy rainfall storms in various parts of the country that led to destruction of properties and loss of lives. Reports indicate that:
- Farmers in the cereal growing regions have been unable to harvest their produce due to continuous heavy rains and flooded fields
- Roads and bridges were washed away in some parts of the country disrupting transport systems
- Cases of flooding were reported in Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera, Kwale, Kitui, Kilifi, Garissa, Busia and Turkana counties. This led to loss of human and animal lives.
- Mudslides were reported in Muranga, West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet counties
- Lightning strikes were reported in Teso South, Busia county that killed people and livestock
- Hailstones were reported in Narok and Busia that led to destruction of crops.
KMD then advises that this forecast should be used in conjunction with the daily (24-hour), weekly and special advisories forecast issued by this Department. County weekly forecasts are available from the County Directors of Meteorological Services across the Country.
Full KMD November forecast here