By David Luganda – NECJOGHA
The Kenya Meteorological department (KMD) has warned reduced rains in most parts of the country in the October-November – December (OND) short rains season
“The Climate Outlook for the October-November-December (OND) 2021 “Short Rains” season indicates that most parts of the country are likely to experience depressed rainfall,” reads the department’s latest seasonal forecast released on 31st August 2021.
This will be driven by near to below average Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) over the western Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to the East African coastline), coupled with warmer than average SSTs over the eastern Equatorial Indian Ocean (adjacent to Australia).
According to the seasonal forecast, this season constitutes a negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) that is not favorable for good rainfall over most of East Africa. Also, Equatorial Sea surface temperatures (SSTs)
are near-to-below average across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean which implies that ENSO neutral conditions are present
Most Global climate and weather forecasting models predict La Nina condition is likely to develop over the OND season.
“The distribution of the rainfall in time and space is expected to be generally poor over most areas especially during the month of October and the peak month of November,” the forecast read.
In the month of December, rainfall reduction is expected over several places in the country as the season draws to an end. The temperature forecast indicates that warmer that average temperatures are likely over most parts of the country during the season.
There are also enhanced probabilities for warmer than average temperatures in Eastern Kenya
According to the forecast onset for the Lake Victoria Basin, Highlands West of the Rift Valley (Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Trans Nzoia, Baringo, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo Marakwet, Nandi, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia); Central and South Rift Valley; (Kericho, Bomet, Nakuru, and Laikipia) is expected to be in September and cessation 3rd to 4th week of December 2021 .
Onset for Counties in Highlands East of the Rift Valley (Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Murang’a, Nyandarua, Kiambu, Meru, Embu, Tharaka Nithi); Nairobi; is expected to be in the 3rd to 4th week of October 2021 and Cessation in 2nd to 3rd of December 2021.
“Counties in North Western (Turkana, Samburu) have undefined onset and cessation,” the outlook read.
Coastal Strip (Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Lamu, Coastal part of Tana River) onset is expected on 1st to 2nd week of November, 2021 and cessation is predicted1st to 2nd week of December, 2021.
South Rift Valley: (Narok) 0nset is on 4th week of October to 1st week of November, 2021 and cessation is predicted in 4th week of December to 1st week of January 2021
According to the seasonal forecast, Southeastern lowlands (Taita Taveta, Makueni, Kitui, Tana River, Machakos & Kajiado) onset is predicated in 2nd to 3rd week of November, 2021 and cessation 2nd to 3rd week of December, 2021