Igad experts predict another wetter, hotter season for Kenya, Horn of Africa

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Families rendered homeless by floods in Kibera, Nairobi.

Photo credit: FILE

The latest weather forecast from the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) shows that the Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region will experience above-normal rainfall and higher-than-normal temperatures during the coming June-September season.

The countries that make up the GHA are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

The report shows that Kenya's coastal and western regions will experience an increased likelihood of wetter-than-usual conditions. The same weather pattern is forecast for Djibouti, Eritrea, central and northern Ethiopia, Uganda, South Sudan and Sudan.

However, parts of northern Somalia, isolated areas in western Ethiopia and northwestern South Sudan are expected to receive below-average rainfall.

The weather pattern is similar to that observed in 1998 and 2010 when much of the region experienced wetter-than-average conditions.

Early to normal start

 ICPAC also predicts an early to normal start to the rainy season in several areas, including central and northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and southern Sudan. In contrast, a delayed start is likely in Djibouti, parts of eastern and western Ethiopia, central and western Sudan, and southern South Sudan.

The temperature outlook for the next four months suggests a high probability of warmer-than-normal conditions across the region, with areas such as northern Sudan, central and western Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania likely to experience the most intense heat.

"The Greater Horn of Africa is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, which pose serious challenges to the resilience of our communities," said Dr Guleid Artan, Director of ICPAC.

"The predicted wetter-than-normal conditions for June to September 2024 mirror the patterns of 1998 and 2010, highlighting the potential impacts, especially for South Sudan and Sudan, which could face flooding."

Dr Artan stressed the importance of early warning systems to prepare for these recurring extreme weather events.