Kenya’s Weatherman: El Nino to end heavy rains to return over the weekend

According to the weather forecast, the ongoing rains in Kenya are expected to intensify on Saturday, contrary to global predictions indicating the end of El Nino. Although the usual rainy season in Kenya, spanning from March to May, witnessed a decrease in rainfall on Thursday and Friday following heavy downpours and floods, the Kenya Meteorological Department anticipates a resurgence of heavy storms starting Saturday and persisting until Monday.

Kennedy Thiong’o, Deputy Director at the Meteorological Department, highlighted the likelihood of heavy rainfall events in various regions, including the Highlands East and West of the Rift Valley, Lake Victoria Basin, Rift Valley, Southeastern lowlands, Coast, and North-eastern Kenya. The most significant rainfall is expected in counties bordering Lake Victoria and in the Rift Valley highlands.

Counties such as Siaya, Kisumu, Homabay, Migori, and others are particularly at risk. The rest of the country can expect scattered showers in the morning and more widespread rainfall in the evenings.

Despite global forecasts indicating the end of El Nino and the transition to La Nina, which typically brings dry spells to Kenya, the local situation suggests otherwise. While international meteorological organizations project the onset of La Nina from August onwards, Kenya’s weather patterns may not align entirely with these predictions. La Nina, often associated with rainfall in many parts of the world, paradoxically brings prolonged dry weather to Kenya.

The government, recognizing the potential risks associated with the ongoing rains, has identified areas prone to flooding. Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki pointed out regions along lakes, rivers, low-lying areas, and those with poor drainage as particularly vulnerable. Western Kenya, including HomaBay, Siaya, and Busia, along with other areas like Migori and Mombasa, are at risk.

The government is on high alert, prepared to mitigate the adverse effects of flooding. Evacuation orders may be issued in critical areas to ensure public safety. The National Disaster Operations Centre, in collaboration with various agencies, has reconvened to coordinate response efforts. County security teams are tasked with monitoring and reporting situations, while international humanitarian agencies are involved to provide a coordinated response.

In essence, while global forecasts may suggest a shift in weather patterns, the local situation demands vigilance and proactive measures to address the imminent challenges posed by the ongoing heavy rains.