Met warns of shrinking pastures as dry season sets in

 A stranded zebras at the Tsavo West National Park following a recent fire. The weatherman has warned of a dry season ahead.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The weatherman has warned that the areas will continue being sunny and dry for the rest of the month.
  • In the previous month, the regions experienced the driest conditions in the country.
  • The coastal region will experience occasional light showers in the morning.
  • Incidents of flooding were also reported in West Pokot.

Residents of the northern and southern parts of Kenya have been warned of the risk of losing their livestock due to shrinking pastures as the dry season sets in.

This follows this month’s weather forecast by the Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD) warning that the areas will continue being sunny and dry for the rest of the month.

According to the weatherman, Marsabit, Isiolo, Wajir, Mandera and Garissa in the north eastern part of the country as well as Machakos, Makueni, Kitui and Taita Taveta in the south eastern lowlands and Kajiado and the eastern portion of Narok in south rift will be generally sunny and dry throughout the month.

As a result, residents in the affected regions have been asked to prepare in advance to avert loss of animals.

In the previous month, the regions experienced the driest conditions in the country, recording monthly rainfall totals of less than 20mm, with Wajir, Mandera and Voi stations recording no rainfall at all.

According to the monthly forecast, most parts of the country will remain sunny and dry this month with only areas around the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria basin set to receive some rains.

Light showers

The coastal region will also experience occasional light showers in the morning while the central highlands including Nairobi will experience occasional afternoon showers and cloudy conditions during the early days of this month.

“It is expected that several parts of the country will be generally dry for most of the month of September. However, near-average to above-average rainfall is likely to be experienced over the Lake Victoria Basin and the highlands west of the Rift Valley,” said KMD Director Stella Aura.

Highlands west of the Rift Valley including Trans Nzoia, Kericho, Bomet, Nandi, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, West Pokot, Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Kisii and Nyamira will experience showers and thunderstorms during the month with expected total rainfall amount being above the long-term average amount for September.

A similar weather pattern will be experienced in Kisumu, Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya and Busia along the Lake Victoria basin and Nakuru, Narok, Baringo and western Laikipia in central rift.

Occasional afternoon showers and cool, cloudy conditions will be experienced in Nyeri, Murang’a, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Nyandarua, Embu, Meru, Tharaka-Nithi and Nairobi counties.

Isolated flooding

“Cases of isolated flooding especially from the second week are likely to occur in low lying areas and along river basins in the Lake Victoria Basin as well as in areas surrounding the Rift Valley lakes.

“Landslides and mudslides may also occur in the hilly areas of the highlands west and east of the Rift Valley due to the fact that the soils are still saturated and the rivers/dams levels are still high,” added the weather forecast.

In August, the areas received significant rainfall leading to several schools in Baringo County being flooded due to the overflow of Lake Baringo while other lakes such as Naivasha, Nakuru and Bogoria also overflowed.

Incidents of flooding were also reported in West Pokot on August 20, 2020 where at least 1,000 families were displaced.

The rainfall received in August also continued to maintain high levels of water in the dams, rivers and lakes with Turkwel Dam achieving its highest water level for the first time since its construction.

The coastal strip covering Lamu, Kilifi, Mombasa, Kwale and Tana River will experience generally dry weather conditions with occasional light morning showers.